We saw 3 years of hard work successfully play out before our eyes.
The students didn't want Kepler's STARS to end.
Chris and I collaborated to create Kepler’s STARS. We chose the name Kepler to represent knowledge and innovation. STARS is an acronym for Strong, Tenacious, Adaptable and Resourceful Survivors.
The survivors are those who face forced evacuation from their homes, localities and countries due to misfortune.
In consideration for students in our schools who have experienced dire conditions and painful losses due to conflict and violence, we chose the distant exoplanet, Kepler 452b, as a safe place where students could role play and discuss real global challenges.
After two and a half years of research, writing and designing, our program was ready for students. I felt grateful, indeed, when Allison Knowles, a middle school teacher, granted me the privilege of teaching Kepler’s STARS to her classes.
Since then we’ve adjusted and revised the program and included abridged versions of some assignments and lessons. We’ve added supplementary materials that allow for greater differentiation. Allison’s classes successfully completed the program and we are most pleased with the results. In fact, Allison added an assignment and had the students construct Kepler’s STARS games which were creative and rewarding.
As well, Mike Jaltema, of the same middle school, successfully taught Kepler’s STARS as an enrichment program.