May 4 Activities

S/T- science and technology combined!  NASA and other space exploration organizations have sent probes and satellites throughout our solar system and beyond. We have collected samples of the materials blasting off the sun, crashed on Mercury, sent probes to Venus, landed on our own moon, sent multiple robots to Mars, collided with Jupiter, flown through Saturn’s rings, studied Uranus and Neptune from afar, and photographed and then gone beyond Pluto, just to see what things are like on other planets. Let’s use some of the things we’ve learned from this research and go to the next level! 

Pick your favorite planet or large object in our solar system. It can be a planet, a planet’s moon, a large asteroid, or a dwarf planet (think Pluto). Do a little research on the planet or item you have picked. This can include looking in books you may have at home, or using the internet to search, or looking for other sources like magazines or documentaries* for facts about the object you have picked. See if you can find facts specifically about what kinds of conditions might exist on the surface of your object. What temperatures might you see? What kinds of chemicals are in the air, or atmosphere? What kinds of landforms might you see on the surface? 

After you have found some of these facts, see if you can design and build a model of a home for living on the space object you have researched! Think of ways you can build your home to do the following: stay either warm or cool (based on the temperatures there), ways you can protect yourself from the chemicals in the atmosphere (air filters, a series of doors to get in or out of your home, specially protected walls, etc), ways to save and reuse water (most planets do not have water that we can use), and ways to save or grow your own food without it getting killed by the conditions on your object. 

Bonus: If you have designed your shelter and have some extra time and materials, can you design a vehicle to help you move around your new home? Keep the surface and conditions of your object in mind and consider the following: What kind of tires or wheels would be best? Will your vehicle need a roof to protect you from the sun or chemicals in the air? 


*I just typed “NASA solar system exploration” into the search bar of YouTube and got a lot of free videos! Click here for my results:

Also, check out NASA’s resources:


E/M- engineering and math combined! Let’s keep in step with our solar system research, and build some of the things we can see in the night sky! Ms. Nicki found the following resource, and we both thought it would be a fun way to make the constellations we see at night a little more delicious (but don’t eat all the marshmallows until after you’ve built a few constellations)! Check out this lesson plan*, and build your favorite constellations from our night sky! As you build, do some mental math!

For younger kids, ask questions like: How many marshmallows are we using? How many toothpicks? Are the numbers equal? If not, which is bigger? How much bigger? How many marshmallows AND toothpicks are we using altogether? 

For older kids, turn some of those questions into multiplication or division questions. Maybe see how many marshmallows long is each toothpick? How many toohpicks wide is each marshmallow? Make it fun and get creative! 




As always, please continue to share your photos of your kids’ creations! I have really enjoyed seeing how smart and creative you all can be!  [email protected]

I miss you all, and hope to see you soon!