Unit: Life Science - The Body
Grade Levels: 4-6 and 7-9
Connection To Curriculum: Science and Mathematics
Teacher Prep Time: 1 hour
Lesson Time Needed: 3.5 hours
Keywords: bone loss, bone strength, microgravity, oxygen
Flour (approx. 5kg)
Scale or balance
Large, zippered plastic bags
Pen or pencil
2-liter soda bottles
Flexible plastic tubing
Large aquarium or plastic tub
Snack or 1-quart zip bags
Corn puff cereal
Broom and dustpan or vacuum
This lesson integrates a series of activities to investigate the adaptations that humans must make during spaceflight.
• Demonstrate the effects of bone loss during spaceflight.
• Investigate the effects of bone loss on bone strength.
• Explore the effects of disorientation on humans.
• Explore the effects of microgravity on the human body.
• Discover the importance of the amount of oxygen needed for spacewalking.
Space Adaptations Lesson
[81KB PDF file]
Professional Development Training Module for This Lesson
Lesson Activities and Sequence
The listed activities lead students to investigate the effects of spaceflight on different systems of the human body.
Students will learn that motion can cause disorientation and understand why astronauts train to live and work in space. (Page 44)
Keywords: motion, disorientation, swivel chair, orientation, spin
O2 - How Much?
Students will discover their oxygen requirements during relaxation and during strenuous activity. Then they can determine how much air an average "student astronaut" would need on a 7-hour spacewalk.
Keywords: spacesuit, exercise, oxygen requirements
Students will compare the amount of calcium needed by the body at different developmental stages and demonstrate the effect of calcium loss on bones.
Keywords: calcium, developmental stages, osteoporosis, bone mass
Bag of Bones
In this activity, students will be able to identify the effects of decreased bone mass (osteoporosis) and describe why healthy bones are important in space and on Earth (Full Guide).
Keywords: gravity, microgravity, adapt, density, bone loss
Get a Leg Up
During this activity, students will simulate the effects of spaceflight on the human body related to the shifting of fluids in microgravity.
Keywords: body fluid, leg circumference, prop legs
Science as Inquiry
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.
• Understanding of the nature of science.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.
• Characteristics of organisms.
• Organisms and environments.
• Structure and function of living organisms.
History and Nature of Science
• Science as a human endeavor.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, NCTM
Measurement and Data
• Represent and interpret data.