Reach for the stars and learn some chemistry along the way!
Launch your study of space science with ideas from these links. Explore what it would take to survive on Mars, watch a game of liquid ping pong in space, see what other students have done with rockets, make your own spectrometer, and more.
- The Martian Resources
Turn a ChemClub into a book club using Andy Weir’s The Martian. Use the reading guide, choose a Mars music playlist, and more.
- Spectral Detective
How can we study what's in far away stars?
- Build a Spectroscope
Be a spectral detective again, but this time build your own device
- Using Light to Study Planets
Build your own spectrometer. How does it compare to what NASA does?
- Chemistry Is Out of This World (English)
Chemistry Is Out of This World (Spanish)
Head out of this world while staying right at home or school with these chemistry activities.
- The Air Up There: Making Space Breathable
Put your filter design to the test as you imagine what is needed for survival on Mars.
- Spacecraft Materials
Aluminum? Titanium? What’s the best choice? See why it matters where it’s going.
- Experimenting with UV-Sensitive Beads
UV-sensitive beads don’t just make neat bracelets; they also help us learn about UV radiation in space.
- Global Experiment: Mission Starlight
Protect astronauts from UV light in this UV-bead challenge.
- Imagine the Universe!
NASA isn’t just about sending stuff out into space—they want to help you learn about space too. Get started with these lesson plans.
- Project Spectra!
You won’t have to put on a spacesuit to explore the solar system—these activities take you there as you learn about how light helps us learn.
- The Dark Side of the Universe
Come… to the dark side. Of the universe, that is. This Scientific American Frontiers episode is packed with star stuff.
- Stanford Solar Center
Learning centers around the sun at the Solar Center, right? A long list of lessons for all ages!
- How to Find a Meteorite in 5 Steps
Up there in the sky! It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s a… meteorite? Learn how to track down these elusive samples from the solar system.
- A Dusty Dilemma
NASA even studies the dust that hits its spacecraft. What makes collecting this data tricky?
- October Sky
Encourage your students to reach for the stars! Use the book Rocket Boys to motivate students to launch their study of rocket science.
- The Martian: Popular Fiction Plus Chemistry
Gripping fiction. Gripping science. See how Andy Weir’s The Martian can find a place in the chemistry classroom.
- Mars Solar Bag
This solar bag science demo went 120,000 feet up and may someday make it to Mars.
- Space Place: Solar System
Play. Make. Read. This is your place to learn about space.
- Mars vs. Titan
Earth is a special sort of place. Can either of these spots fit the bill for human habitation?
- The Human Drive to Explore Space
Rovers and robots might have the edge in avoiding danger. What’s your opinion?
- Surviving on Mars
Have you got what it takes to survive on the Red Planet? NASA is trying to make it possible.
- Growing Green on the Red Planet
If humans become temporary Martians, they’ll need food to put on the menu. Will we be able to go green?
- Astrochemistry Careers
This career is out of this world! Learn more about what astrochemists do.
- What Is the Moon Made of?
They give you a hint: not cheese. Get to the core of this question with an infographic created to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the moon landing.
- Plutonium-238 Production for Space Exploration
A satellite can’t just stop at the gas station. Where can it get its fuel?
- Infrared Spectrometer and the Exploration of Mars
These instruments took a special peek at Mars. What did they find?
- The Chemistry of Outer Space
It’s a week of space chemistry camp. What did students get to do?
- Fungi in Outer Space
Seriously stressed out fungi could be a source of new medicines. A few are heading to space.
- 12 Cool Experiments Done on the ISS
What if your lab space was literally in space? Read about a dozen unusual experiments done on the International Space Station.
- What Happens to the Human Body in Space?
Astronaut Scott Kelly spent nearly a year in space. What happened to him while he was there?
- Extreme Cosmic Ice
Talk about ultracool chemistry. These researchers are studying ice and its possible connection to life in the universe.
- Mixing Liquids in Space
How would oil and vinegar salad dressing appear in zero gravity? Learn about the interaction of immiscible liquids in space.
- U.K.'s Twinkle Mission Set To Explore Exoplanets
This mission is out of this world. Literally. See how they plan to learn more about the chemistry of far-away planets outside of our solar system.
- Can We Power a Space Mission to an Exoplanet?
Imagine traveling as far as it is from the earth to the sun. Now multiply that by 750,000 times. Possible? Or just a dream?
- Astronaut Tim Peake on Twitter
This British astronaut tweeted from the International Space Station through June 2016. What was he up to in space?
- Lucy Mission Overview
Launch: 2021. Journey: 12 years. Destination: Asteroids. Will it give us answers about the history of the solar system?
- Psyche Mission Overview
Coming to an asteroid (not) near you in 2023! What can this probable planet core tell us?
- NASA's Chemical Laptop Could Spot Life on Mars
Forget typing a paper or surfing the internet—this “laptop” can’t help you there. But it can help us learn more about the chemistry of other planets.
- Mae Jemison – Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers
The site describes itself as a place “where the lab coats come off.” Learn more about the first African-American woman in space.
- Hayabusa 2
The samples are back from space. How did they get here?
- Hidden Figures Curriculum
Bring STEM alive in the classroom by bringing together the movie Hidden Figures with these lesson plans that link science, social studies, language arts, and math.
(All sites accessed April 2021)