On July 20, 1969, the world watched in wonder as humans first set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. and Michael Collins made up the crew for the United States’ Apollo 11 mission. As NASA explains, this one small step for a man was one giant leap for mankind!
Now, over 50 years later, this incredible feat is still an awe-inspiring story known around the world. To celebrate the anniversary of this lunar landing, we have put together a series of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities below to inspire your child as they plan their own out-of-this-world adventure.
Build a Home Base for Your Journey
Inspired by the International Space Station (ISS), your child can think up their own solar-powered space station. The ISS is equipped with a laboratory full of new technologies and acts as a temporary base for astronauts — 249 miles above the Earth! While your child designs their own space station, they are encouraged to add unique features such as space grabbers, viewing ports and moving solar panels as they learn about Earth’s rotation.
Gear Up With Your Custom Spacesuit
Without a spacesuit, we would not be able to face the extreme temperatures, radiation and lack of oxygen outside Earth’s atmosphere. In this STEM activity, your child can design their own spacesuit as they get ready to blast off and head into the unknowns of outer space. As they research needed features for their spacesuit, you can encourage them to embrace their creativity by thinking of new ways to make their design even better. Could their suit have a built-in camera for space selfies, or should it light up for impromptu dance parties on the moon? The possibilities are endless!
Design a Rocket to Blast Off Into Space
Now that you have a space station and a suit for exploration, it’s time for liftoff! Ready the countdown as your child assembles their very own rocket ship in this STEM activity. Using common items like string, clothespins and a balloon, your explorer will learn about concepts like lift, thrust, force and air pressure, which are all needed to launch a spaceship efficiently and effectively.
Compete in Your Own Space Race
For a high-energy, friendly competition between siblings, friends or neighbors, you can set up a fun and easy space race. In this Space Race Activity, one person becomes Mission Control and issues exciting commands for the crew! Will you venture into a black hole, launch into space like a rocket or become a wave of UV light? Play to find out — and to learn how new space discoveries are made through the X-ray imaging spectrometer and radio waves!
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