Classroom Activity

How Much Is Waste? -- Grades 5-8
The first page of the How Much Is Waste? activity

The information in this document was accurate as of the original publication date.

Audience: Educators
Grades: 5-8


The original design of the space food packaging for Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo was light in weight and required minimum storage space. As spacecraft design improved, allowing for longer flight durations and larger crew and cargo capabilities, the food manifest also greatly improved. For instance, the space shuttle and ISS food lists contain nuts, shelled to reduce waste and mess. Onboard waste containment is a concern for spaceflight. In this three-part activity, students will minimize the mass of a grocery store package; determine the usable and waste portions of 10 nuts; determine the edible and waste portions of a piece of fruit; and calculate percentages of each.

How Much Is Waste? Activity [85KB PDF file]

This activity is part of the Space Food and Nutrition Educator Guide.