Status Report

New Education Materials Available Online at

By SpaceRef Editor
June 27, 2009
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The Educational Materials section of NASA’s Web site offers classroom activities, educator guides, posters and other types of resources that are available for use in the classroom. Materials are listed by type, grade level and subject. The following items are now available for downloading.

Moon Munchies Educator Guide — Grades K-4

Plant growth will be an important part of space exploration in the future as NASA plans for long-duration missions to the moon. NASA scientists anticipate that astronauts may be able to grow plants on the moon, and the plants could be used to supplement meals.

In anticipation of the need for research into lunar plant growth, NASA and the International Technology Education Association, or ITEA, present the NASA Engineering Design Challenge. Students design, build and evaluate lunar plant growth chambers — while engaging in research- and standards-based learning experiences. The lesson plans in this guide encourage students to participate in the engineering design process and learn how to conduct a scientific experiment.

The Moon Munchies Educator Guide is available as a complete guide or can be downloaded in easy-to-use individual lesson plans.

Ares: Launch and Propulsion Educators Guide – Grades 5-12

The fifteen lesson plans in this guide help students learn about the science of rockets, principles of rocketry and the laws of motion. Student texts are included so that students may read about variables, forces and motion, and NASA’s history and future. Students learn which variables affect the performance of a rocket. In the assessment, students engage in a competition wherein they apply what they have learned about rockets to build a launch vehicle that flies as high as possible.

Top Stars Bookmark – All Grades

This downloadable bookmark includes dates for educators to submit their best examples of how to use the Hubble Space Telescope to teach science, mathematics, engineering or technology. Participants selected as Top Stars will receive national recognition and awards.

The Courage to Soar Higher Educator Guide — Grades 4-6

This integrated unit allows students to launch pop rockets; create a pop-up book about the solar system; build Mars colonies; and learn about the history of NASA and space exploration. Some activities include vocabulary lists and reading selections. Each of the 20 lessons in this guide support national mathematics, science, technology, geography and language arts standards.

SpaceRef staff editor.