11/25/2019

The Aeronauts takes viewers to new heights in science and weather

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Don’t miss your chance to win a private screening for your class!

Ever wonder what it’s like to be in a hot air balloon at an altitude of more than 30,000 feet?  Inspired by true events, the Amazon Original film The Aeronauts takes you along for such a record-breaking balloon journey.

The Aeronauts movieThe film features Eddie Redmayne as James Glaisher, the father of meteorology, and Felicity Jones as Amelia Wren, a fictional daredevil balloon pilot, as an aeronaut duo who voyage to the very edge of existence in an effort to uncover the secrets of the skies and to break the world altitude record. This visually stunning, action-packed film lays the groundwork for any study on meteorology or climate change, and Amazon Studios, along with the AFT Science Cadre, has developed free lesson plans tied to the film’s scientific principles.

These hands-on activities and lessons are available on AFT’s Share My Lesson site now with topics such as how to make your very own hot air balloon, weather, layers of the atmosphere, women in science, and much more. These lessons are specifically designed to pique student interest in math, science and engineering across all grades—elementary, middle and high school.

“As I watched the movie, I found myself fascinated by the plot and by the science. I also found myself asking a lot of science-related questions. What were those instruments we saw Glaisher using? How was Glaisher able to pinpoint his altitude with the tools available in his day?” says Elizabeth Buckholtz a Toledo (Ohio) Federation of Teachers and AFT Science Cadre member. “Students are curious and will have questions as well. This movie opens the door for teachers to provide opportunities for students to find the answers to their questions through inquiry.”

Along with the lesson plans, Amazon Studios is also sponsoring a sweepstakes on Share My Lesson—with a grand prize of a private screening for up to 100 educators and students plus a one-year Amazon Prime membership and three second-place prizes of a one-year Amazon Prime membership. The grand-prize winner will be drawn on Dec. 3, and the second-place winners will be drawn on Dec. 17.

John Clark with students

“Students are captivated by good stories and, in a day of streaming media, the most captivating stories are often visual. When that storytelling involves science, there is an opportunity to elevate learning,” says John Clark, a member of the Volusia United Educators in Florida and AFT Science Cadre member, pictured above with several of his high school engineering students working on building a hot air balloon.

The Aeronauts lesson plans are just some of the most recent resources posted on Share My Lesson by the AFT Science Cadre. Be sure to check out the other lessons from the cadre on everything from seed dispersal to the impact of trash on ecosystems. If you are interested in joining the AFT Science Cadre and creating STEM-related lesson plans, contact Melanie Hobbs at 202-393-8636.