Our affiliate Readorium has generously made their excellent reading program available for free to Grade 3-8 educators for the remainder of the school year. We would appreciate it if you mention High Frontier Outpost when you register on the site: https://readorium.com/covid-19-help/.
We are working on compiling a list of online resources for teachers and students who would like to learn more about space habitats and related topics. Please check back at a later time for more, and feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with links that would be useful to share here!
Many of the lesson plans linked here were designed with a large range of grade levels in mind. We recommend modifying or supplementing these plans to meet the needs of your students.
This section contains general/background information about space habitats.
Living in Space
This short article describes the International Space Station, where people are already living in space. We’d recommend this read for elementary students.
Curious Kids: Can People Live in Space?
This article answers a child’s write-in question of whether humans can live in space. It explains the basics, that space is a dangerous environment that people need to build specialized equipment to live in, without delving too much into the science involved. This would be a good read on its own, or to provide some background knowledge before going into texts/lessons about space habitats. We recommend this for elementary-middle school readers.
This page has some good background information for understanding what a space habitat is like, and what one built on our moon would require. The fun activity included may be suitable for elementary school and middle school classes.
Living and Working in Space
- Habitat Teacher’s Guide: https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/176994main_plugin-176994main_HSE_TG2-1.pdf
The Sealed Room (Introductory Activity)
- Student Activity: https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/176993main_HSE_SA.pdf
- Assessment Rubric: https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/176990main_Container_Rubric.pdf
This is a teacher’s guide that includes suggestions for creating a series of lesson plans built around activities and guiding questions. Subject areas included are life science, earth science, and technology, and learning activities address National Science Education Standards for grades 5-12. Not all resources referenced in the guide are available for free online, but you can use the information at these links as starting points for building your own units/lesson plans.
The full SciGuide is available to purchase here: https://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/5/SG-22
Building a Space Habitat
This page includes interdisciplinary activities suited for students of all age groups. Check out how you can build a space habitat in your own classroom, and lead productive discussions with your students about what people would need to lead healthy lives in space.
Gerard O’Neill Interview
This video contains an excerpt from an interview with Gerard O’Neill (whose ideas inspired HFO’s space habitat designs) in which he talks about the thought process behind his design principles. We would recommend this for middle schoolers and up.
O’Neill Cylinder Designs
This page includes a brief explanation of what Princeton physicist Gerard K. O’Neill envisioned for a space settlement, including artists’ interpretations. Resource for any age group.
People living in space habitats will need ways to grow their own food.
Check out our March 2020 newsletter article “Farming in Space,” along with the following resources, to learn and teach about this topic.
Eating in Space
This text gives a general summary of what astronauts’ diets are like. We recommend this for elementary-middle school readers.
AstroFarmer: Learning About Conditions for Plant Growth
Enjoy this free set of activities designed for elementary-middle school students to learn about what plants need to grow, and how these needs would change in space.
2018 Article About Space Gardening
This article about a space garden program called “Veggie” is recommended for students in middle-high school grade levels.
2017 Article About NASA’s Greenhouse Project
This relatively short article about NASA’s greenhouse prototype is recommended for high-school students
2020 Article About NASA’s Research with Plants
This article about NASA’s recent research projects on optimizing plant growth in space is recommended for high-school students.
What would happen to your body and mind if you spent time in space? What do astronauts do to stay healthy? Check out the following resources to find out.
Human Needs in Space
This text offers a general summary of how astronauts must make lifestyle changes in order to thrive in outer space. We recommend this for elementary school students.
Curious Kids: Do astronauts get space sick?
This article explains the space sickness/discomfort felt by astronauts traveling between Earth and the International Space Station, and why it happens. We recommend this for elementary-middle school readers.
What Happens To The Human Body in Space
The video gives a brief overview of what happens to the human body in space, using astronauts on the ISS as examples. We recommend this for students of all ages.
Space-Faring: The Radiation Challenge Unit
Students learn about space radiation and its effect on human visitors, with the lesson plans and activities on this site. Subject areas included are science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. Choose from the middle school unit or the high school unit.
How Do Humans Age in Space?
This explains how people age at a slightly different rate than people on Earth. We recommend this for middle schoolers and up.
The Human Body in Space
In this article, NASA discusses the effect of living in space on the human body, including physical forces like gravity and psychological forces like isolation, as well as possible solutions. We recommend this as a read for high school students and up.