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Lesson Title: Food for Thought
May 11, 2012

Unit: Life Science - Food

Grade Levels: 4-6

Connection To Curriculum: Science, Technology and Mathematics

Teacher Prep Time: 1.5 hours

Lesson Time Needed: 7 hours

Complexity Moderate

Keywords: energy, health, preparation, selection, waste, mold growth, planning and serving, ripening fruits and vegetables, nutrition, calories, storage

Materials:

(See each activity for detailed materials list.)
Package instant pudding mix
Package instant drink crystals
Sugar
Artificial sweetener
Nonfat dry milk
Water
Straws
Plastic spoons
Plastic zip-locking sandwich bags
Paper plates
Fruits such as apples and bananas
Vegetables such as carrots and celery sticks
Vitamin C tablets
Small, deep plastic bowls
Plastic knife
Plastic zip-locking sandwich bags
Marking pen
Tape
Metric balance or digital scale
Plastic zip-locking snack and sandwich bags
Metric rulers
Calculators
 

Description
Space food research meets the challenge of providing food that tastes good and travels well in space. This lesson emphasizes inquiry and cooperative involvement of students as they explore the unique problems of keeping astronauts happy and healthy in space.

Objectives
Students will:
• Integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics with space food nutrition, selection, preparation and safety.
• Plan and develop a five-day balanced food menu for astronauts on the International Space Station.

First page of Food for Thought

Lesson Guide
Food for Thought Lesson
[131KB PDF file]

 

 

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Lesson Activities and Sequence
The activities listed below are needed to complete this lesson. They can be accessed at the following websites:

  1. Food Preparation for Space
    The students will measure the proper amounts and mix ingredients of rehydratable foods and drinks.
    Keywords: food preparation, food selection, waste, mold growth, planning and serving food, ripening fruits and vegetables, nutrition, calories, food storage
  2. Food Selection
    The students will determine the acceptability of food products for space flight by participating in a sensory taste panel.
    Keywords: food preparation, food selection, waste, mold growth, planning and serving food, ripening fruits and vegetables nutrition, calories, food storage
  3. How Much is Waste?
    The students will measure the mass and volume of a food package before and after repackaging for space flight, and determine the usable and waste portions of food selected for space flight.
  4. Mold Growth
    After observing mold growth on different types of bread, the students will measure and record the growth rate.
    Keywords: food preparation, food selection, waste, mold growth, planning and serving food, ripening fruits and vegetables, nutrition, calories, food storage
  5. Planning and Serving Food
    The students will plan a five-day flight menu and design a food tray that can be used in space.
    Keywords: food preparation, food selection, waste, mold growth, planning and serving food, ripening fruits and vegetables, nutrition, calories, food storage
  6. Ripening Fruits and Vegetables
    The students will compare and contrast the rate of ripening of fruits and vegetables when exposed to air and the effect of using a chemical inhibitive on that rate of ripening.
    Keywords: food preparation, food selection, waste, mold growth, planning and serving food, ripening fruits and vegetables, nutrition, calories, food storage

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.
Life Science
• Characteristics of organisms.
• Organisms and environments.
• Structure and function in living systems.
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
• Personal health.
• Types of resources.
• Changes in environments.
• Science and technology in society.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, NCTM
Measurement and Data
• Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit.
• Represent and interpret data.

Technology Education Performance Indicators for Students
Creativity and Innovation
• Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes.
Research and Information Fluency
• Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
• Process data and report results.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
• Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
• Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
• Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
• Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.


 

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Page Editor: NASA Administrator