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Apollo 13 — Houston we have a problem”

Apollo 13 is the inspiration behind the HOW2 Teaching Technique Pilot and Navigator”. With many colleges splitting practical classes Pilot and Navigator only needs a little tweak to get students at home working in real-time with their peers in class.

The background

Gary Sinise is the reserve astronaut that doesn’t make it onto Apollo 13 for its mission to the moon. But when an oxygen tank explodes just prior to Apollo 13 landing he has to find and manufacture a solution and talk astronaut Jim Lovell, the commander of Apollo 13 through how EXACTLY to replicate this solution on the spacecraft. Its worth remembering that Jim Lovell could not see what Gary Sinise was doing so you could make Pilot and Navigator doubly tough by asking students to do this over a voice-only’ link up. Our recommendation is that first time up, you allow a video call! 

Making it operational

Assuming you have split your class with half at home and half in the workshop, classroom or workplace…To make Pilot and Navigator work so to speak you’ll need to imagine the Navigator as the student at home (playing the role of Gary Sinise) and Pilot as the student in the classroom (playing the role commander Jim Lovell). 

All the other instructions are on the technique page on the app

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