Join students Sophie, Tomás, Emma, and Marcus during Fifth Period! This STEM comic strip chronicles the exciting and often hilarious adventures of a close-knit group of four friends as they learn about science, technology, engineering, and math from their kooky, inspiring, off-the-wall science teacher, Mr. Kepler. When they're not in class, these kids love to explore the vast world of STEM on their own, launching weather balloons, programming computer games, and cataloging insects, sometimes with unpredictable and highly entertaining results!
Check back on the first and third Friday of every month for a new Fifth Period strip!
Robodog in Space?
While Tomás works to see if he can get Robodog space-exploration-ready, he brought up some pretty wild facts. How crazy is having giant computers? In the 1950s, it was completely normal for computers to almost or completely fill a room. Can you imagine a computer taking up an entire classroom? You’d have to reserve a whole section of a building just to compute math equations! (Which isn’t a great use of space, if you ask me.)
It’s also incredible how small computers have gotten over the years. As hard as it is to believe that Robodog has more power in his little head than the entire Apollo 11 spacecraft that took the astronauts to the moon for the first time, it’s true! In fact, you’ve probably held more powerful technology in one hand than there was on that spacecraft. Don’t think so? Well, if you’ve held a smartphone, you’ve done it. Today’s smartphones are much more powerful (and clearly much smaller) than Apollo 11 was when it landed on the moon.
Check it out!
Want to learn more about how computers got smaller as time went on? Click these links to view some really interesting timelines:
That’s it for the school year! The Fifth Period gang wishes you a great summer. Many thanks to the APL STEM office, Don, Anne, Frank, Jon, Katie, Ashleigh, and Lynn, who made this year’s season successful. See you next fall—now go do something cool.