Curricular Unit: Space

Contributed by: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado Boulder

A colorful collage of the Sun and the Earth hovering over our known environment of trees and the sky.
Students are introduced to space exploration
copyright
Copyright © Solar Terrestrial Relations Laboratory, NASA http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/spaceweather/spaceweather.shtml

Summary

This unit begins by introducing students to the historical motivation for space exploration. They learn about the International Space Station, including current and futuristic ideas that engineers are designing to propel space research. Then they learn about the physical properties of the Moon, and think about what types of products engineers would need to design in order for humans to live on the Moon. Lastly, students learn some descriptive facts about asteroids, such as their sizes and how that relates to the potential danger of an asteroid colliding with the Earth.

Engineering Connection

Engineers make space travel possible. Mechanical engineers design materials and components for space conditions. Biomedical engineers design ways to care for astronauts' health while traveling in space. From designing flight plans, trajectories and spacecraft to get us to the Moon safely, to ingenious tools and technologies that will someday enable humans to live on the Moon, engineers play a vital role in space travel and discovery.

More Curriculum Like This

Life on the Moon

Students learn about the physical properties of the Moon. They compare these to the properties of the Earth to determine how life would be different for people living on the Moon.

Middle School Lesson
Moon Walk

Students learn about the Earth's only natural satellite, the Moon. They discuss the Moon's surface features and human exploration. They also learn about how engineers develop technologies to study and explore the Moon, which also helps us learn more about the Earth.

Elementary Lesson
Space Travel

Students are introduced to the historical motivation for space exploration. They learn about the International Space Station as an example of space travel innovation and are introduced to new and futuristic ideas that space engineers are currently working on to propel space research far into the fut...

Middle School Lesson
Destination Outer Space

Students acquire a basic understanding of the science and engineering of space travel as well as a brief history of space exploration. They learn about the scientists and engineers who made space travel possible and briefly examine some famous space missions.

Elementary Lesson

Educational Standards

Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.

All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standards Network (ASN), a project of D2L (www.achievementstandards.org).

In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.

Suggest an alignment not listed above

Unit Schedule

Copyright

© 2008 by Regents of the University of Colorado

Supporting Program

Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado Boulder

Acknowledgements

This digital library content was developed by the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program under National Science Foundation GK-12 grant no. 0338326. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Last modified: October 20, 2017

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