Don’t let nebulous ideas slow you down as you countdown to this October’s World Space Week. Rather, shoot for the moon with these astronomical activities for celebrating World Space Week with your class or family.
1. Rendezvous with the International Space Station and Astronaut Scott Kelly and Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. Take this week to celebrate global corporation in the near reaches of space by learning about the One-Year Mission. The mission may be over, but the science continues! Screen a few of NASA’s Human Research Program videos with your students. Be sure to see the view from the space station and check out our Sleeping on the Space Station worksheet.
2. Make it your mission to educate your students about Mars. Have them participate in the Planet Four: Terrains citizen science project by examining and mapping images of Mars. Take a Mars Trek and explore the surface of the Red Planet or control a virtual rover with Experience Curiosity. For classroom resources, check out our tests and printables: Earth vs. Mars (short story with questions), Mars, and Planet Clip Cards.
3. Ignite your student’s imaginations by entering the “Send Yourself to the Moon” competition. No need to don a spacesuit, just have your students create original pieces of artwork that depict what they think should be preserved in a lunar time capsule. Digital images of artwork must be submitted by October 7, 2015.
4. Impact student learning through science fiction. Read classic or modern science fiction with your students. Go beyond what is scientifically accurate or misrepresented and discuss themes as well as what the story conveys about society, both real and fictional.
Use Help Teaching’s Science Fiction Literature worksheets and Elements of Science Fiction lesson as a starting point. Then, ask your students to put on their creative thinking helmets and write a piece of science fiction. Here are some writing prompts worksheets to get you started:
Kindergarten and 1st Grade:
My Space Adventure
If I Were an Alien
Journey Into Space
Alien Welcome Committee
My Trip Into Space
4th and 5th Grade
One Way Ticket to Mars
Finally, decelerate by watching a sci-fi movie! Perhaps some of your high school students will enjoy the interplanetary adventure, The Martian.