Post- Kepler Observations

It was very satisfying to be able to go on this Kepler’s STARS journey with my class. In over 25 years of teaching, this was, thanks to the pandemic, the first class I had to myself all year long. With the daily reminders of how we need to work together for the benefit of all, it was an appropriate year to face some of humanity’s challenges through a planetary alter-ego. By design Kepler’s STARS allows us to tackle tribulations a safe distance from Earth’s calamities, bringing in the real-life corollaries when the students are ready to reflect. The added bonus this COVID-constrained year was the escapism inherent in becoming someone else, somewhere else, learning to care for each other on principle.

To be able to experience Kepler’s STARS with my students in French was especially sweet, as I had seen colleagues help pilot the program in English and had long wanted to offer the same experience to my French Immersion students.  Once again, a pandemic summer presented me the opportunity to translate it all and make possible my first interstellar immersion experience!

Growing up I saw my father help develop simulations in university classes. Now as a French teacher I’m thrilled to have this means to make meaningful learning real through the imaginary, and I look forward to my next opportunity to take young minds on a voyage to Kepler452b.

In their year-end Core Competencies Self-Reflection for their report card, many students wrote about how much they enjoyed and learned from Kepler’s STARS this year. I know I have lots of room for improvement in how I take them through the journey, but it was great to see how they connected the dots and grew from the experience.

Chris Blizzard


  1. Many thanks to Chris Blizzard from Chris Culos and I for translating Kepler's STARS into French; and, for uploading it onto TEAMS so his students could enjoy the adventure and adhere to Covid protocols.
    We can hardly wait to see how the simulation unfolds in his classroom this year with partitioned lighting effects!


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