Education and
Public Engagement
at the Lunar and Planetary Institute
Health in Space

Space Bound! The Initial Engagement

Overview

Space Bound! is a 45 minute kick-off to your space program for children ages 8–13 that sets the stage for the further explorations and activities in Explore! Staying Healthy in Space. As a group, children listen to a story about living and working is space. Through discussion, they identify the challenges astronauts face!

What's the Point?

Materials

Preparation

Older children may wish to select the book and may want to participate in the reading. You may wish to have several copies of a book available, or several different books. If you are working with diverse ages, consider having the older children read to the younger ones or have them help lead the discussion.

Activity

1. Assemble the children in a group and prompt them to think about what living in space is like. Keep track of their ideas on poster paper.

2. Read the story you have chosen about living and working in space, or, with older children, have them take turns reading to the group. You may wish to divide into several smaller groups before beginning, with each group tackling a particular aspect of life in space or a different book

3. After reading the book, launch a discussion.

4. If the children have questions about the vocabulary they are hearing, have them begin a "vocabulary wall" — a place where you or they can collect the words they do not know. Have them write the words on sheets of paper. Invite them to search for the definition and then share their findings with the group. After the discussion, ask for volunteers to help explain or define the vocabulary terms.

Conclusion

Ask the children if they would like to learn more about living and working in space. They will soon be invited to participate in several activities that will give them a better idea of what it is really like. They will also learn some surprising ways in which children and astronauts are alike!