Introduction

Space exploration is an exciting and wide-ranging area. Getting into space (and back down) is hard, involving rockets and launch vehicles, satellites, spacecraft, re-entry systems, landers and rovers, robots, and orbital mechanics, not to mention hypothetical technologies like space elevators and artificial gravity. Once we are up there, we can explore many additional issues such as human performance in space, the space economy, and the science of astronomical bodies.

Resources

Resource Type
STEM Activity
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Have you ever enjoyed watching something lift off into the air, like fireworks at a show or a spacecraft launching? It can be an amazing experience. It is thrilling to see something lift off against Earth's gravity. To launch a spacecraft, its rockets give it a strong push that is due to a chemical reaction. This means that every time you see a spacecraft launch, you are watching chemistry at work. In this activity you will get to blast an object into the air using two simple… Read more
STEM Activity
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Have you ever wondered what a parachute and an open rain jacket have in common? They both trap air and slow you down when you move fast! In this activity, you design a parachute for a miniature action figure. Tissue paper or a plastic bag and a few strings is all it takes to make your figure into an expert skydiver. Read more
STEM Activity
If you have ever watched a rocket launch on TV, you might have noticed that rockets have multiple stages. Some parts of the rocket fall off and burn up in the atmosphere whereas the rest of the rocket keeps going. Why does this happen? Try this activity to find out and build your own two-stage rocket using balloons! Read more
STEM Activity
How did the Moon get its craters? What about the craters on Earth? Why do they look the way they do? Find out in this fun science activity, as you make your own craters by dropping balls into a tray of flour. Read more
STEM Activity
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How do scientists and engineers control robots that drive around other planets millions of miles away? It's nowhere near as easy as driving a toy remote-control car here on Earth. In this activity you will experience some of the challenges you face when driving a "robot" that you can't see! Read more
STEM Activity
The egg-drop project is a classic and time-honored tradition in many science classes. The goal is usually to build a device that can protect an egg when dropped from a high location. This activity puts a twist on the classic project, motivated by real-world advances in space exploration. Can you build a reusable egg-drop lander that can survive repeated falls from the same height? Try this activity and find out Read more
STEM Activity
Blast off! Have you ever played with a model or toy rocket, or seen a real rocket launch on TV? In this project you will make simple rockets out of paper and launch them by blowing into a drinking straw. Can you make the rocket that flies the farthest? Read more
STEM Activity
Space elevators zipping people and materials up into space might seem like a very futuristic and improbable idea, but is it that difficult? This activity will guide you through the mathematics. Try it out and see what is possible with materials that can be produced with current technology. Read more
STEM Activity
Soda bottle rockets are a safe and fun way to get into rocketry. If you want to discover what makes rockets fly, this is an activity for you. You can even add different features, like fins, a nose cone, and a parachute to find out how these alter the flight! Try it out! Read more
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Free science fair projects.