Astronauts living on the International Space Station need to drink plenty of water after exploration missions to keep hydrated. NASA educator Nubia Carvajal walks through the process of setting up and running this educational activity, which teaches students how to identify their own hydration levels as they research hydration and create a visual web about hydration, and learn the importance for astronauts to drink plenty of fluid while in space.
An Educational, Hands-on Activity
Water is the largest single component of the human body. Our bodies are composed of 50–70% water. Drinking plenty of fluids keeps our bodies hydrated and healthy. Water helps to keep our body in peak condition by supplying nutrients to the cells, muscles, joints, brain, skin, kidneys, and lungs. Water also regulates body temperature and helps the heart function properly. Just as on Earth, astronauts in space must also maintain proper hydration levels. As they complete tasks on their exploration missions, whether inside or outside the spacecraft, they too must drink plenty of fluids in order to remain hydrated and maintain their healthy state.
- identify their own hydration levels by creating and analyzing simulated urine;
- research hydration and create a visual web about hydration and the human body;
- investigate simulated urine samples to determine the visual properties of urine during different levels of hydration; and
- learn the importance for astronauts to drink plenty of fluid while in space to maintain a hydrated state while returning to Earth.
› Hydration Station Educator Handout (PDF)
› Hydration Station Student Handout (PDF)
› Estación de hidratación Sección del Estudiante (PDF, en Español)
› Estación de hidratación Sección del Instructor (PDF, en Español)
Activity Alignment to National Education Standards
National Science Education Standards (NSES):
Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (K–8)
- Understandings about scientific inquiry (K–8)
Content Standard E: Science as Inquiry
- Abilities of technological design (K–8)
- Understanding about science and technology (K–8)
Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
- Personal health (K–8)
- Characteristics and changes in populations (K–4)
- Changes in environment (K–4)
- Science and technology in local challenges (K–4)
- Science and technology in society (5–8)
- Structure and function in living systems (5-8)
- Evidence models and explanation (5–8)
- Regulation and behavior (5–8)
- Science as a human endeavor (5–8)
National Mathematics Education Standards (NCTM):
Data Analysis and Probability Standard:
- Develop predictions that are based on data.
- Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.
National Council of Teachers of English Standards (NCTE):
Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas, questions, and posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
National Visual Arts Standards:
Content Standard 5: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work. a) Understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art.
Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health. As a result of health instruction in grades 3 through 5, students will:
- 1.5.1 Describe the relationship between healthy behaviors and personal health.
Standard 5: Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision making skills to enhance health. As a result of health instruction in grades 3 through 5, students will:
- 5.5.1 Identify health related situations that might require thoughtful decision.
Standard 7: Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks. As a result of health instructions in grades 3 through 5, students will:
- 7.5.1 Identify responsible personal health behaviors.
- 7.5.2 Demonstrate a variety of healthy practices and behaviors to maintain or improve personal health.