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Lunar Surface Exploration

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Illustration of astronaut standing on the lunar surface superimposed on the moon itself.



Grade Levels

Grades 5-8


Earth Science, Life Science, Mathematics, Physical Science, Space Science, Spanish, Technology, Geology, Living and Working in Space, Measurement and Data Analysis, Problem Solving, Energy, Forces and Motion, Gravity, Solar System and Planets, Missions to Planets and Moons, Planetary Geology, Earth's Moon, Remote Sensing, Space Vehicles


Educator Guides, Lesson Plans / Activities

Four standards-aligned activities help students learn about the STEM needed for NASA to overcome several challenges to explore and inhabit the surface of the Moon.

With these activities, students will:

  • Activity One Electrostatic Moon Duster: identify the properties of lunar dust that make it a big problem on the lunar surface and use the engineering design process to create a dust mitigation device.
  • Activity Two Drilling on the Moon: be challenged to compare the properties of ice to simulated icy-regolith on the Moon’s south pole and design and build a drill bot that will be able to drill through simulated icy-regolith.
  • Activity Three Print a Lunar Habitat: consider the necessity of In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) and design and construct a model lunar habitat using simulated lunar concrete in an additive manufacturing process.
  • Activity Four Extract, Pack, Transport: locate and simulate the mining of ilmenite (a Moon resource) and collect the oxygen that is extracted from the ilmenite and be challenged to build a cold storage and transfer system to store and safely transfer the fuel to a spacecraft.

Next Generation Science Standards: MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS 1-2, MS-ETS1-3, MS-ETS1-4, MS-PS2-3, S-PS2-5, MS-PS1-2, MS-PS1-4, MS-PS3-3, MS-PS3-4, PS.1.A

Common Core State Standards: MP.2

Full Guide: Lunar Surface Exploration | Guía de exploración de la superficie lunar

Section Links:

Contents and Introduction

Activity One: “Electrostatic Moon Duster”

Activity Two: “Drilling on the Moon”

Activity Three: “Print a Lunar Habitat”

Activity Four: “Extract, Pack, Transport”


This educator guide is part of the Next Gen STEM Moon series. Other Moon standards-aligned science activities in this series:

Crew Transportation With Orion
Propulsion With the Space Launch System
Habitation With Gateway
Landing Humans on the Moon
Hazards to Deep Space Astronauts
Deep Space Communications
Artemis Generation Spacesuits
Build, Launch, Recover