Lighter, Science

LEGO Figures In Space

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LEGO minifigs in spaceIn August, a rocket was sent to deliver a space probe, called Juno, to Jupiter to study the planet. The probe carried three unique stowaways.

Three special LEGO figures, made of aluminum, are accompanying Juno on its five-year mission. The figures look like the Roman god Jupiter, his sister Juno and the Italian astronomer Galileo, who made several important discoveries about Jupiter.

Jupiter carries a lightning bolt. Juno has a magnifying glass to help her search for truth. And Galileo carries a telescope and a model of the planet Jupiter.

People at NASA approached LEGO and asked them to design the special minifigs as part of a special project to help inspire children to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The minifigs cost about $5,000 each. They had to build them very carefully so they didn’t interfere with any of the probe’s sensitive instruments.

It will take a long time for the probe to arrive at its destination. It won’t get to Jupiter until 2016.

When it gets there, it will collect data about Jupiter, its moons and its atmosphere. The data will help improve our understanding of the origin and evolution of Jupiter. The probe will orbit around the planet for a year (about 33 times) and then crash land onto Jupiter’s surface so it can gather information to send back to earth.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
NASA decided to send three LEGO figures into space with Juno. What would you have sent with this space probe? What are the reasons for your choice?

Reading Prompt
Reread today’s article and concentrate on reading at an even pace. Use periods and commas as signs to take breaths. Not only does reading sound better when you read at a steady speed, it’s also a lot easier to understand!

Primary
Read appropriate texts at a sufficient rate and with sufficient expression to convey the sense of the text readily to the reader and an audience (OME, Reading: 3.3).

Junior & Intermediate
Read appropriate texts with expression and confidence, adjusting reading strategies and reading rate to match the form and purpose (OME, Reading: 3.3).

Grammar Feature: Verbs ending in y (Past Tense)
When writing the past tense form of a word, a writer can often just add the letters “ed,” but that’s not always the case. For example, when a word ends with a “y,” the “y” changes to an “i” and the letters “ed” are then added. Today’s article includes the word “carried” which is an example of this.

Now that you’re an expert, practice writing these words in the past tense.

1. try __________________

2. study ________________

3. tidy _________________

4. cry __________________

5. hurry ________________