Lunar and Planetary Institute

Explore! Fun with Science
Space Stations
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Food Preparation for Space
Children learn about how food is prepared for use in space by rehydrating dried foods. They learn the importance of “traveling light.”

Dehydrating Food for Space Flight
Children explore how water is reduced during dehydration of fresh food and why dehydrated food is preferred for space flight.

Food Selection for Space
Children taste test several foods to determine which foods are tastiest and will be served during space travel.

Food Production
Children are challenged to design a system for maintaining a food supply for a human settlement on the Moon.

Planning and Serving Food in Space
Children plan a five-day balanced menu for astronauts.

Solar-Powered Cooking
Learn about solar power onboard the International Space Station and harness the energy of the Sun to cook food.

Classifying Space Food
Children classify food for the International Space Station into the major food groups to ensure that the astronauts will eat healthy meals.

Ripening of Fruits and Vegetables
Children compare how fast food ripens when exposed to the air versus protected by a non-ripening agent and learn about packaging of food for the space station.

Mold Growth 
Children experiment with mold growth on different types of bread and reflect on what this means for preserving food on space stations, where food is stored at room temperature. The children compare the ingredients of tortillas from home with those that travel into space.

How Much is Waste?
Children investigate how food products are packaged and the waste that results from the packaging. They reflect on waste containment on space stations.

Air Supply
Children design and build a craft-model air supply system for a human settlement on the Moon. They reflect on what the lunar atmosphere is like, what humans need to breathe, and how oxygen is obtained on Earth.

Space Seeds Return to Earth
Children explore gardening in space.

Building a Droid for the ISS
Children investigate the use of robots on a space station and build a model of a helpful robot. This activity could be modified to include different craft materials to build the robots. Encourage the children to let their imaginations roam!

Growing Crystals
Children can grow sugar crystals (another basic recipe for a solution for growing crystals can be found here). Commercial kits also are available. For connections to space, but at a higher level, visit or .

Space Walking
Children ages 5–9 design a space backpack and helmet.

Lift-Off to Learning: Living in Space
Children ages 8–14 explore aspects of living in space, including food preparation, microgravity, and relaxation. Short hands-on activities spark the conversation. An accompanying online video enhances discussion.

My Future Space Capsule
Children ages 7–12 design a craft model of a future space station.

Construct a Parafoil
Children ages 14–17 compare designs of parachures and parafoils to explore the escape options of spaceflight.

Edible Space Shuttle
Children build an edible space shuttle and learn about the main parts of the spacecraft.

3D Space Station Adventure
Interactive activities for children ages 4–12. Visitors are challenged to design space vehicles and stations, as well as equip a space station. Coloring books and games also can be found at this site.

Discover Aeronautics and Space Coloring Book
This NASA coloring book for ages 4–11 includes several coloring pages of the space shuttle, International Space Station, and living and working in space. Other coloring pages can be found at .

A Visit to the Space Station
An interactive site for young children that includes a shuttle launch game, a "visit to the ISS," interactive coloring pages, information for parents and teachers, and more.

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Last updated
February 14, 2005