LEGO® Bricks, formerly known as NLO-Education-2 (LEGO Bricks) - 09.17.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The LEGO® Bricks payload is a series of toy LEGO kits that are assembled on orbit and used to demonstrate scientific concepts. Some of these models include satellites, a space shuttle orbiter, and a scale model of the International Space Station (ISS).

Science Results for Everyone

There is a kid in all of us—even astronauts. NASA sent special LEGO ® kits, including model satellites, orbiters, and even a scale model of the space station, into orbit. Students across the country watch as crew members assemble the kits and use the bricks to demonstrate science concepts, then assemble the same kits themselves to learn how LEGOs work differently in microgravity. Kits are geared toward various ages and each contains NASA-inspired education materials. Video of crewmembers playing, "er," working with the bricks in space, along with corresponding classroom activities, can be accessed at Lego Space.



The following content was provided by The Lego Group, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Experiment Details

OpNom

Principal Investigator(s)

  • The Lego Group , The Lego Group, Billund, Denmark

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • International Space Station National Laboratory , International Space Station National Laboratory, Houston, TX, United States

  • Developer(s)
    The Lego Group, Billund, , Denmark

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    NASA Education (EDU)

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    March 2011 - March 2013

    Expeditions Assigned
    27/28,29/30,31/32,33/34

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • NASA's Office of Education in Washington, D.C. seeks partnerships that help the agency promote student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) studies and careers.


    • As part of the Space Act Agreement, NASA will send special LEGO® sets to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission.


    • The sets are assembled by crewmembers on orbit and by children and student groups across the country.


    • The construction process and activities with the sets demonstrate the challenges faced when building things in the microgravity environment of space.


    • The LEGO® Group plans to release NASA-inspired products in their LEGO® CITY line in 2011.


    • The space-themed products vary in terms of complexity, engaging audiences from young children to adult LEGO® fans. Each product release contains NASA-inspired education materials.


    • Leland Melvin, NASA's associate administrator for education, said, "These projects not only foster creativity but also instill in the young builders a real sense of the engineering and design principles that NASA uses every day. Fun learning activities like these can help inspire kids to become the next generation of explorers."

    Description
    NASA and its partner, the LEGO® Group, headquartered in Denmark, are jointly developing innovative educational materials and/or activities to promote student interest in technical or scientific careers. This partnership, documented in a Space Act Agreement between the two organizations, is designed to support NASA’s educational programs in exploration, technologies, science and aeronautics. This opportunity provides the unique learning environment of microgravity to promote student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) content and careers. To accomplish this task, LEGO® Bricks kits are flown on board the International Space Station (ISS). Crewmembers perform tasks to demonstrate simple science concepts and how Lego Bricks work differently in a microgravity environment. LEGO® is also developing a website where all on-orbit video and corresponding activities can be downloaded. This information can be accessed at Lego Space.

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    Applications

    Space Applications
    The LEGO® Brick is widely well-known throughout the world. NASA partnering with this company makes the US space program highly visible to a new audience. The LEGO® Group has developed a whole new commercial line titled “LEGO® Space City” that premiers in the US in early 2011. This new product features vehicles and models directly from NASA real-life vehicles. To accompany this, the Lego Group is launching a new website LEGO® Space that NASA will be able to link to. The release of new products, the website, and along with the supporting of future education, gives the space program a new boost and offers many possibilities for young students.

    Earth Applications
    The LEGO® Group and LEGO® Education use the LEGO® Brick and LEGO® kits to teach fundamental Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics concepts to a variety of students worldwide. These educational activities are geared for students ages 4-18 and offer a unique setting for students to investigate topics such as forces and motion, simple machines, renewable energy, and robotics. The release of new products, the website, and along with the supporting of future education, gives the space program a new boost and offers many possibilities for young students.

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    Operations

    Operational Requirements
    There are 9 LEGO® Bricks kits flying on board ULF6. Each kit contains several models. There are 28 models total (varying in complexity). As per the 3-year Space Act Agreement, NASA provides the means and certification for these kits to fly aboard the ISS.

    Operational Protocols
    All LEGO® models must be assembled in the Maintenance Work Area (MWA) with containment system, with the exception of LC00-A (Duplo Bricks and Plate) and LC03-D (LEGO® Bricks ISS 2 Kit Living Interior). Crewmembers must build each model according to the building guides, but may improvise on the talking points. Video is downlinked at a later time to the ground crew, who in turn provides the raw video footage to the Lego Group. LEGO® Bricks pieces are then disassembled per crew preference and stowed back in the kit.

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    Results/More Information

    NASA has partnered with the LEGO Group to develop innovative educational materials and activities. This partnership, documented in a Space Act Agreement between the two organizations, is designed to support NASA’s educational programs in exploration, technology, science and aeronautics. This opportunity provides the unique learning environment of microgravity to promote student interest in STEM content and careers. To accomplish this task, LEGO kits are flown on board the International Space Station. Crewmembers perform tasks to demonstrate simple science concepts and show how LEGO bricks work differently in a microgravity environment.

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    Related Websites
    LEGO® Space

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    Imagery

    image Students used LEGOs to 'Build the Future' at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010. The 'Build the Future' event was part of pre-launch activities for the STS-133 mission. These events occur throughout the NASA/Lego partnership. Image courtesy: Bill Ingalls/NASA.
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    image Students dig into a pile of LEGO® bricks to begin constructing their miniaturized visions of the future of space travel. The activity tent was set up in a launch viewing area at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the event. Image courtesy: Jack Pfaller/NASA.
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