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Spacecraft materials kit - Discovering the different properties of materials | Teach with space PR07

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ESA / Education / Teachers' Corner

Languages: English (teacher's guide), English (pupil activities), French (teacher's guide), French (pupil activities), German, Italian, Norwegian (teacher's guide), Norwegian (pupil activities), Polish, Spanish

Subjects: Science, Technology |

Pupils can use the ESA Spacecraft Materials Kit to experimentally investigate a variety of different materials. A set of five activities enables pupils to get acquainted with the properties of different materials, comparing and grouping everyday materials based on: electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, mass, magnetism, and resistance to impact. Pupils will consider which materials are best suited for different parts of a spacecraft. This resource takes ESA’s European Service Module as an example, a capsule that will power NASA’s Orion Spacecraft to the International Space Station. The European Service Module includes large tanks which hold fuel as well consumables for the astronauts: oxygen, nitrogen and water. Through this activity, pupils will be able to carry out experiments, take measurements, record data, and present their results.

The Spacecraft Materials Kit is a box containing six sets of cubes made of a variety of materials, as well as all the necessary equipment for testing the cubes. You can borrow the kit through your local ESERO office. Use the contact details below to find out about the loan  procedure in your country, as well as to get the documents translated into your national language. ESERO offices that currently have a stock of kits are:

 

From this website, you can download the teacher guide and pupil activities documents separately. 

Format: Physical kit, with accompanying videos, teacher guide and pupil activities
Age range: 8-12 years old

 

Two videos accompany this resource:

Spacecraft materials kit - classroom demonstration video, VPR07a

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Spacecraft materials kit - classroom demonstration video, VPR07a
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Visual instructions describing how to set up and use the kit.

Spacecraft materials kit - the challenge, VPR07b

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Spacecraft materials kit - the challenge, VPR07b
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An ESA scientist explains to pupils which materials are useful for building spacecraft, and challenges pupils to investigate different materials themselves.

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