P.E.T. Round 1

From: lindgren@meol.mass.edu (Charles F. Lindgren)
Subject: P.E.T. Round 1
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 19:06:33 -0500

We completed Day Two of the P.E.T. with my 8th grade classes, and came out
with a database of just under 300 items for the shoebox! Students
supposedly discussed what should be included in a probe of this size with
their folks at home and came in with a list. With one student entering the
answers into a database and another writing the answers on the board we
went from student to student and each gave an answer until all of the
answers were exhausted. For each item a show of hands told how many had
also selected each item. The rule was that no comments could be made about
anything said (that will come later). The only criterion was that it had to
fit in the box. I think they truly outdid themselves. I don't want to share
my list yet because it's too early, but I do want to note several trends I
saw in all classes. Everyone wanted to establish some sort of ownership to
the rover, one class wanted to include a time capsule from Earth, they got
around the size restriction by saying that rather than the actual objects
being placed in the box a CD-ROM with images could be used (that was
deep!). Another class wanted a plaque attached to the outside possibly with
a decal (not a bad idea, I might pass this on to the art teachers to have a
design contest for a patch or decal design). 3 of the five classes wanted a

All in all it was a great day.