Virtual Space Exploration Trip: Grade 9 Online Stargazing and Field Trip

By Anita Valencia, 9-1

February 16, 2021


Photo credit to NASA

Holding the stargazing activity is a challenging feat in itself, based on the testaments of previous batches whose activities had been put off and rescheduled, due to the unforeseen weather conditions that made it nearly impossible to see the night sky and its stars. Similarly, the stargazing activity of batch 2024 definitely encountered its own hurdles.

On the early morning of February 13, 2021, the Grade 9 was the first ever batch to have their stargazing activity through Microsoft Teams. The activity was aptly renamed as the Virtual Space Exploration Trip, or VET. The inability to actually conduct this activity in a face-to-face setting due to the pandemic barred the students’ desire to camp on the fields of AA underneath the night sky. But the new online setup did have its advantages, such as not having to wait until the sun had set, being able to answer the activity sheet without haste, and continuing learning at the student’s own pace. Mr. Aloysius Lorenzo, the teacher who spearheaded this activity, was always on standby, ready to answer questions and help the students with any of their concerns.

The activity itself definitely was different from the past stargazing activities, as students weren’t focused on looking for stars, but rather how they could be able to shine as bright as stars when working in a team. The students explored NASA’s official website, learning about leadership and what exactly makes up a team and how to be a good leader or a teammate. They learned from NASA’s astronauts, as they listened and watched videos of astronauts talking about how important teamwork is especially in their profession. In the vast emptiness of space, you can only depend on your teammates. These lessons proved to be important, especially in situations when students work in groups and they need to learn how to navigate through differences in ideas and opinions. They also learned how to ultimately reach a solution that would satisfy the team and ensure the progress of a project. These conflicts and differences don’t weaken a team, but rather create a bond that makes them stronger than ever.

Even though the students weren’t looking for stars in the sky, they ended up looking for the stars within themselves and in others that can make them stronger than ever. Aside from learning Science and Astronomy, the Grade 9 students have successfully learned more about what makes and forms a team