SciGuides are a collection of thematically aligned lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources for teachers to use with their students centered on standards-aligned science concepts.
NASA has a vision and goal of returning humans to the moon for long-duration missions by the year 2020, how will they do it? Humans have not ventured to the moon since the Apollo missions from 1969–1972 and those were brief excursions. 30 years later, new technologies and applications have been developed that will make lunar living a reality. Why not incorporate this new and exciting adventure into your study of life, physical, and Earth science in a motivating way? Pique your students’ natural curiosity by using space science as your “hook.”
As NASA designs and develops habitats and life support systems for their lunar missions, they will be focusing on the task of having an “Earth like” environment on the moon that contains food, shelter, water, and air for all living things. Scientists and engineers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center have already begun “to make living on the moon a reality.” Beginning with a lunar landing “mock-up” that has a crew cabin with a small galley, waste collection area, sleep area, storage compartments, and even medical supplies, they are designing “mini” space habitats to support life in space for up to seven days. Living in space requires attention to health and fitness, food production and waste management, sources of power, transportation, and communication, and social adaptations that space ecosystems will depend upon.
Teaching about ecosystems, habitats, and health through space science helps students to see the real-life application of their studies, transfer their knowledge to other situations, and wonder about the future. Isn’t this what we all want to accomplish when we design our curriculum around the teaching standards? The web resources in this SciGuide will help students learn core science content in a fun, meaningful context. Using what they know about life on Earth, they will make predictions and inferences about the success of human life in space. Now that’s engaging!
This web guide offers a variety of resources for you and your students, all of which have been evaluated and rated by master teachers across the country in an effort to make your task of incorporating technology into the classroom easier. Looking for life science lesson plans about ecosystems, populations, interdependence, microorganisms, and more? You will find them in this guide along with interactive simulations, images, hands-on investigations, and content background. NASA strives to provide teachers with standards-based, inquiry lessons and this SciGuide is an example of their efforts.