An Educational, Hands-on Activity
Explorers need strong bones so they can face the physical challenges placed on their bodies while in space. The longer astronauts are in the environment of space, the more weak their bones become due to a lack of loading forces (gravity pulling on your body).
Bones below the waist are most affected by reduced gravity environments, and the bones located in these areas are more likely to suffer bone loss during spaceflight. It is important for astronauts to train before, during, and after their flight in space to maintain strong bones all their lives. A diet including calcium and Vitamin D also helps astronauts maintain strong bones.
- Students will observe bones, comparing bone size relative to the living being in which the bones are found.
- Students will design a bone model, then compare and contrast the weight bearing capacity of their bone model, making inferences about bone structure, weight bearing bones, and the effects of different environments on those bones.
› Living Bones, Strong Bones Educator Handout (PDF)
› Living Bones, Strong Bones Student Handout (PDF)
› Huesos vivos, huesos fuertes Sección del Estudiante (PDF, en Español)
› Huesos vivos, huesos fuertes Sección del Instructor (PDF, en Español)
The following National Education Standards are addressed in this education module:
› Science (NSES)
› Technology (ITEA)
› Mathematics (NCTM)
› Health (NHES)
National Wellness Initiative
This activity meets the needs of the federally mandated Local Wellness Initiative and may help the needs of your Local Wellness Plan.