Oct 01, 2018 2018-10-01
NASA’s freely downloadable Food for Thought: Eating in Space educator guide presents five math, science, and technology standards–supported lessons for grades 5–8 that relate to food and nutrition. Through the lessons, students conduct research on the caloric content and nutritional value of space foods (“Mars Needs Food!”) and construct and use calorimeters to measure the kilocalories (energy) contained in several food samples (“Burning Question: Which Foods to Take to Mars?”). They design and assemble a robot to perform a simulated food-handling task using commercial robot kits or construct a simulated robot using various scrap materials (“Always Wash Your End Effectors”). They investigate adhesion, cohesion, contact angle, and capillary action in liquids (“Now That’s a Cup of Coffee!”) and create a space cookie recipe along with a nutritional label estimating the nutritional value of their cookies (“If You Give an Astronaut a Cookie”). The lesson plans include learning objectives, background information, materials lists, procedures, assessments, extensions, and reproducible student worksheets.