Crop circles have been the subject of many films and science fiction stories, but now students are exploring crop circles in the snow, and researching how the intricate designs could be made.

Soft SkillsAt Randy Smith Middle School in Fairbanks, Alaska, the students in the Extended Learning Program made the beautiful designs on the soccer field.

“We investigated crop circles earlier in the semester and had lengthy discussions about how they might make them. We don’t have wheat fields this time of year, but we do have a soccer field that will be filled with quite a bit of snow,” said ELP teacher Chris Pastro.

Snow circles were designed by each student, integrating math and writing skills.  They had to calculate area and circumference, and write a letter from the supposed extraterrestrial beings who created the circles to humans, reflecting on the state of the world.

They also wrote step by step instructions, without using GPS.

“Many of the students chose to become human compasses using ropes, measuring ropes to the appropriate lengths, and putting knots in the ropes for different parts of the circle,” said Pastro. “They made lots of measuring tools and it was great that some of them thought of templates that they could lay down for angles.”

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