Event Catalog

Discover NASA and You

Target Audience
  • Students
Hosting Center(s)
  • Johnson Space Center
Subject Category
  • History
Unit Correlation
  • Exploring NASA Missions
Grade Level
  • 5-8
  • 9-12
Minimum Delivery Time
  • 050 min(s)
Maximum Connection Time
  • 050 min(s)
Event Focus

NASA has accomplished many milestones which have broadened humankind's knowledge of space and space exploration. What has NASA achieved in space, what is NASA doing currently, and what is in store for human space exploration?


This module is appropriate for video conference AND web conference presentation.


Through the use of pictures, narratives, animations, historical evidence, thought provoking scenarios, and questions & answers, this program will heighten students' interest in NASA while focusing on past, present, and future missions. The benefits of space exploration will be discussed and special attention will be paid to potential energy sources which could be harvested from other planets and moons.


Discover NASA and You is a stimulating history lesson about NASA for students in grades 4-12. As NASA celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2008, this lesson will show students what humans have accomplished in space, and what they may accomplish in space years ahead from now. This module contains various teaching methods to generate interest in all things NASA.


The DLN hopes to inspire the next generation to become more involved with science and technology by demonstrating NASA's past accomplishments as well as what NASA will achieve in the future!

Specifically, this module will begin with an introduction of the events and circumstances that took place prior to the formation of NASA in 1958. Students will learn more about Robert Goddard and the first American liquid fueled rocket. From there, events surrounding World War II and the V2 rocket will contribute to explaining how America put its first satellite into orbit. Once students witness John F. Kennedy’s challenge to the nation of landing humans on the Moon “before the decade is out”, they will hear more about programs Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. From here, students will learn how present day NASA is managing the space shuttle, international space station, and the exploration of the solar system. To wrap up, students will hear how they might be involved in NASA’s exciting future that will see investment in game changing technologies that will make space exploration cheaper, easier, and more accessible.

Instructional Objectives



The learner will share prior knowledge about NASA’s past, present, and future missions to the Moon and Mars.


The learner will discover how NASA’s accomplishments in the past paved the way for future events.


The learner will discuss the concepts of Program Constellation and explain why we are returning to the Moon and looking to go on to Mars soon afterwards.


The learner will recognize the challenges of living and will develop innovations to mediate those challenges.


The learner will demonstrate their understanding by answering game-show like questions throughout the program to review NASA history. Learners will also demonstrate their knowledge of NASA’s history by completing a post-activity assessment, and comparing those results to their pre-activity assessment.


Sequence of Events

Pre-Conference Activities

Grade 4-8


Timeline Activity        

Students will work individually or in pairs to

sequence major NASA events in a chronological

order on a timeline.


Educator Guide 4-8   


Grade 9-12


Timeline Activity        

Students will work individually or in pairs to

sequence major NASA events in a chronological

order on a timeline.


3 ways to change your altitude        

Students will determine the altitude of a launched

rocket using multiple techniques.


Educator Guide 9-12   

Videoconference Activities

During the videoconference, students will interact with a NASA Education Specialist as they learn about NASA's past and present accomplishments, as well as future goals of the space program.

Post-Conference Activities

Following the event, students should take the post-event assessment quiz found in the educator guide.


Additional resources:





NASA 50th anniversary



NASA Constellation Project





NOTE: The following standards are abbreviated. Due to the longevitiy of standard descriptions, expected student behaviors are listed in the Educator Guide. Standards and expected student behaviors for grades 4-8 and 9-12 can be found in the appropriate Educator Guide.


National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

  • Time, Continuity and Change - Theme II
  • Science, Technology and Society - Theme VIII


National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

  • Measurement
  • Connections


National Science Education Standards (NSES)

Unifying Concepts - K-12 Content Standard

  • Science as Inquiry - Content Standard A
  • Physical Science - Content Standard B


National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

  • Standard 4
  • Standard 5
  • Standard 7
  • Standard 8
  • Standard 9
  • Standard 12


Information Technology Education Association (ITEA)

  • Optimization and Trade-offs - Standard 2d
  • Collect Information and Judge Quality - Standard 13a
  • Employ Assessment Techniques - Standard 13c


International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

  • Technology Productivity Tools - Standard 3
  • Technology Research Tools - Standard 5