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NASA After School Program


NASA Academy of Future Space Explorers 

Explore the Moon, Earth, Mars, and beyond!  Mad Science and NASA have teamed up to create an "out of this world" program where students learn about astronomy and life in space!



PLANETS AND MOONS: In Planets and Moons, students use models and scaling in order to understand the relative size and distance of objects in our Solar System. Students experiment with eclipses and learn why denser materials make up a planet's core while lighter materials form its surface. Students are challenged to build puzzle cubes to explore the nature of the planetary bodies in our Solar System.

ATMOSPHERE AND BEYOND: Students will gain an understanding of the importance of our planet's atmosphere for life on Earth, and compare the composition of Earth's atmosphere with those of other planets in the solar system. Students learn what it takes to make a planet viable for life as we know it, explore the effects of atmospheric particles on the color of sunsets and rainbows, and study the optical properties of a turbulent atmosphere.

SPACE TECHNOLOGY: This after-school program introduces students to space related technologies, including those used on Earth to aid space exploration and the very scientific principles of space travel. Engaging demonstrations and exciting hands-on activities will make this investigation of Space Technology a fun learning experience.

LIVING IN SPACE:  This class puts students in the shoes of an astronaut. Children will explore the various demands and challenges facing astronauts, and the scientists who send them into space. Students then investigate astronaut training, mobility, and life support, and experience astronaut life for themselves as they participate in a space station building mission. Comparing their own schedules with those of astronauts, students will see how demanding a role it is!

SUN AND STARS: This after-school program introduces students to stars (including our own) and the galaxies they form. A rich combination of hands-on activities and interactive demonstrations teaches children about stellar life cycles, how stars affect planetary formation, and about the various kinds of galaxies. Children will also investigate the perception of stars from Earth as they examine constellations in three dimensions.

ROCKET SCIENCE: Students are provided with a valuable hands-on experience as they build a functional model rocket. As they move through the various stages of construction, students learn the components of a rocket, and the roles each plays in a rocket's flight. Students will learn about the four forces affecting flight in lessons that will be reinforced with a fun game in which they race through space.

SPACE PHENOMENA: Space Phenomena introduces students to phenomenal space events. Students investigate asteroid impacts and meteors, learn to differentiate the lights of airplanes from those of satellites, and explore the composition and nature of comets!

SPACE TRAVEL: In this class, students will learn about the propulsion systems employed for space travel. Children will participate in inquiry-based discussions and multiple hands-on experiments designed to introduce children to the concepts of thrust, propulsion, action/reaction, aerodynamics, rocket construction, the stages of rocket flight, and more!


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