Space DaySpace Day at the Smithsonian is an opportunity for students to learn about many topics related to space exploration as well as space communications
Review and adapt these ideas shared by other teachers who have participated in the ARISS program to develop instruction before and after your planned ARISS contact.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to share lessons and activities you have successfully implemented as part of your ARISS education plan.
Here are some activities and lesson plans shared by Rita Wright retired teacher and host of the very first ARISS contact with astronaut Bill Shepherd at Luther Burbank Elementary School in Burbank, IL in December 2000. Valesare and SuitSat/ARISSat (Grades K-4) Introduction to unit
- ARISSat title page
- National Standards
- Content page K-4
- The story of SuitSat
- Look Carefully activity to be used with Look Carefuly Story
- Lets Fly a Kite 2
- Lets Fly a Kite TP
- Kite Vocab
- Delta Wing
- Adelino Instructions
- Adelino Kite Instructions 2
- 20 Kites
Can You Hear Me?
Communications Unit (Grades 5-7) Communications
- A Patient Waiter is No Loser - story
- How do we communicate – image page
- National and state learning standards
- Communication Index of material
- How do we communicate – opening lesson
- Electromagnetic Spectrum
- ElectroMag SpecDraw1
- ElectroMag Activity
- Wave Prop Rope
- Wavepro Act2 activity
- Spectrum of light activity
Morse Code Oscillator
- Burbank Code Diagram
- Burbank wiring diagram
- Wiring Diagram activity
- Wiring diagram answer key
- Sending and Receiving a message
- Hamfesters Morse code
Humans & Space (Grades 8-9) Introduction to unit
If Humans Could Fly?
Momentum and Friction
Force and Newton
Rocket pattern and Altitude tools
Gravity and Solar Energy
Tommy Gober, N5DUX developed this lesson for teaching the concept of azimuth and how we use azimuth to find satellites in space.
As part of preparation for an Amateur Radio contact in September 2010 with Col. Doug Wheelock on the ISS, Kopernik Observatory welcomed students from neighboring middle and high schools to participate in the activities outlined here.
This activity idea is provided by John Spasojevich AG9D as a suggestion for preparation for an ARISS contact.
The XFM-1 is an FM tracking transmitter which you can find at:http://www.jbgizmo.com/page30.htm
You can get a kit with your club’s call sign or your call sign pre-programmed from Jerry’s site. This actually gives you three projects:
- 1) Building the transmitter
- 2) Building the rocket to carry it, and
- 3) Building the antenna for tracking.
We ordered two and built one. So far we have not needed the back up! One tip though, the plans call for a bent paperclip as the battery hold down. Make sure you really solder this well. The force of lift off is enough to break it free if you don’t do a good job!
This tracker will fit in the ½” body tube of the Estes “educator pack” rockets. These are inexpensive fairly low altitude (500 feet or less) rockets which can be launched on the space of a softball field. Check with the school before you do this. As it turns out the fifth grade classes build and launch these small rockets as part of their “hands-on” science program. Your school may have a similar program, if you contact the teacher and see if you can get involved with a demonstration. Done properly, like anything else, this is a very safe thing to do. There is more danger from someone getting poked with the tracking antenna (if you use a beam) than there is from the rocket launch, but safety must rule the day and you don’t want to violate any school rules. You can check with the NAR (National Association of model Rocketry) on line at www.nar.org where they have space requirements (the bigger the engine, the more space you need) as well as safety rules.
There are many opportunities with this project, in our case the rocket became known as the “Boulder Hill Sputnik” since the transmitter beeps much like the first satellite. It was shown to parents at open house, displayed in a cabinet with other radio equipment for the rest of the school to see as part of our ARISS QSO build up and it even made it to a Board of Education Meeting where an ARISS status report was given. But, did it ever fly? You bet it did. During the first launch the battery hold down broke on assent and it stopped transmitting just before the parachute ejection charge. After repairs the second launch was successful, we used a larger rocket with a D engine and estimated an altitude of 800 feet. Tracking was flawless. The signal was clearly heard on our HT. After three more flights we retired our sputnik and moved on to other projects, but in the future we hope to add a device which will transmit temperature and altitude to a simple ground station. This was fun with 4th and 5th graders but would really be great for junior high and high school. You can find all sorts of help on the web for model rockets and various calculations you can do.
The tracker operates on 2 meter FM so an HT will work well for this try different antennas and have fun. If you are working at the 4th – 6th grade level, I suggest keeping it simple, we found that many things which we did as kids still hold an interest today, model rockets, Morse code, old ways of having fun that not many kids run into in today’s world. It all becomes new again.