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NASA: Challenging the Space Frontier

Once students accept their mission, they can blast off through time to study famous astronauts, the history of space exploration, and more through fun interactive learning games.


1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Activity Type

  • Activities and Games

“Challenging the Space Frontier” offers students the chance to learn the historical impact of space exploration with the help of a timeline and various reading and writing activities.

  • Students learn the history of space travel, including 25 Space Firsts and three pivotal space missions — Friendship 7, Apollo 11, and STS-7.
  • Students will also get to meet several heroes of space travel while browsing the timeline: astronauts Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11; Sally Ride (the first American woman in space) on STS-7; and Mae Jemison (the first black female astronaut) on Endeavour.
  • Then students can build their own timelines of important dates and photos of space exploration, building on what they’ve just learned.

Plus, students can:

Learning Objectives

While participating in "Challenging the Space Frontier," students will:

  • Learn about the history of space exploration in the context of the "space race" during the Cold War
  • Improve content-area reading skills, including comprehension and vocabulary
  • Reflect on what has been learned after reading by formulating ideas, opinions, and personal responses
  • Use discussion with peers as a way of understanding information
  • Learn to do online research
  • Develop thoughtful, focused questions about their reading
  • Create a timeline using information and media from their own research

Susan Cheyney

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