Last week my class started a project that fifth graders in Scarsdale always do at the end of the year, to celebrate all the learning that we have done up to fifth grade. It’s a Scarsdale fifth grade tradition. The project is called Capstone. For Capstone we find a topic we want to learn about, and then we do research about that topic. Finally, we will make a presentation about our research.
Before starting my research, I needed to come up with a “main inquiry question.” A main inquiry question is an exact question that our research will answer. It is our specific research topic. I also needed to think about sub-questions that would help to answer my main question.
To find my topic, I started by brainstorming possible topics that I find interesting. Quickly I thought about studying whether it was possible for humans to travel to Mars in the near future. Then I tried to narrow it down. I originally thought to research NASA’s plans for a trip to Mars. After my teacher, Ms. Edwards, sent me an article about SpaceX’s plans for going to Mars, I thought about comparing NASA’s plans to SpaceX’s plans. That was very helpful to me. I looked at a few more articles and thought this was a hard topic. Maybe it was too much information for me. I finally decided to research SpaceX’s plan for going to Mars and their rocket Starship. Then I still needed to come up with my exact main inquiry question. I decided that my inquiry will be “What are the main challenges with going to Mars and how is SpaceX planning to use Starship to overcome those challenges?”