One of the great educational space resources I have found on the Internet is NASA.com which is packed full of quality astronomy content.
There were so may exciting space places to go on the NASA kids site, I didnt know where to visit first and I cant wait for my seven year old son to see it. So often kids get hooked on a newly-discovered astronomy site and then suddenly come and say “I’m bored!” I like to have another site ready. Preferably it will be a space site I have researched already so I know how educational the learning resources are.
Space sites which are too much like school can have a negative effect. if they are too wordy and technical they will seem dry and dusty and boring turning a child off astronomy. This NASA site is colorful with lively images, inviting game suggestions and a humorous feelto the educational resources.
There is an area for moms and dads and another for teachers. I must admit I usually check out both of these options if they are available. Sometimes the teachers area can give an added dimension – an insight into the information reflects learning goals and improves grades in school.
There is also a cute little astronaut guy for the younger ones to identify with, and some stimulating games and engaging educational resources. Another area is the pennant design challenge which will stretch the abilities of older kids. When they have had enough information input for one visit, it’s time to visit the shop. The shop area offers fun products like astronaut ice-cream which can get kids attention and interest and that is half the battle, particularly if it is something different that people are talking about.
This exciting starting point for learning about astronomy, for a cold product, is certainly becoming a hot seller! It will start kids thinking, and encourage them to “get with the program,” leading into other astronomy investigations. Hopefully, it
will provide a good way of getting kids curious enough to ask questions and find out the answers regarding astronauts’ work and astronomy research. You will able to explain to kids that this is the same stuff that was invented for the first Apollo missions.
In those days, their food was frozen to minus 40 degrees, as this is. Then it would be vacuum dried and placed in a particular kind of foil pouch. The same company still supplies these freeze-dried products to NASA today. They are enjoyed by astronauts on the Space Shuttle. One of the most popular flavors has been the Neapolitan. Maybe this is because kids can sample the three flavours of Strawberry, Vanilla and Chocolate at once! They arrive as ten ready-to-eat bars, freeze-dried of course! in proper Space Marine style! It is reputed to be much cheaper to buy online than at Museum Shops.
Another feature I liked, particularly for older students, was the shuttle countdown because it adds realism and actualisation, giving kids an impression of daily changes. Of course for school homework there is always the space dictionary and space vocabulary.
There is much more to this many-layered site – more than can be given here so the best thing is to get the kids on board, shoot up there and take a look at a cool space site. I know we will, come science homework day!