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Once students have become familiar with all the other exercises, they are ready to attempt this comprehensive exercise. First, the class should be broken up into four groups. Each group is then given the task of designing a return mission to the moon that will focus on all of the areas this website has touched on: the Apollo Program, Archaeology, Space Science, Rocket Science, and Lunar Geology. Each group will have to create a mission that will gather information on these four areas. They will have to design the ships that will bring them to the moon; they will have to determine the amount of time they will need to stay on the moon; and they will have to list all the equipment they will need to bring. The design of the mission should include testable hypotheses, sketches of ships and equipment, and should list several experiments that will be conducted. Each mission should also list measures for protecting and preserving the Apollo sites while the astronauts are analyzing them.
Once the students have designed their missions, they must then present an oral report to the selection committee. The selection committee consists of the other three groups with the instructor as Chair. The three other groups rate each proposal with a 1, 2, or 3 rating. Each group must collectively decide what rating to give each proposal. The Chair rates each proposal with a 4,5, or 6 rating. The proposal with the highest rating is then contracted out to the entire class. The group that conceived the winning proposal gets to choose which aspect of the mission design they would like to work on (Archaeology, Space Science, Rocket Design, or Lunar Geology). The other aspects of the mission are then assigned to each of the other groups by the instructor.
Each group then creates a detailed design of their particular aspect of the mission that was proposed. Students should be encouraged to create detailed drawings, construct models of ships, equipment, and even a papier-m�ch� moonscape.
Each group should then report their design components to the class. The groups should be graded based on the amount of detail they included in their reports, on the creativity and design of the essential elements of their aspect of the mission, and on the visual aides they created for their reports. This exercise can be simplified or made more complex depending upon the grade level of the students.