Space Explorer

Build a Bubble Powered Rocket
This is one way cool activity that your girls are sure to love!  Build a rocket that really goes places.  This activity was created by the cool people at NASA's The Space Place.  You can download a pdf file with all of the information and instructions.
Bubble Powered Rocket

Source: The Space Place

Make a Model Saturn
Materials Needed
--One unwanted compact disc (CD). (Many people get these free in the mail.)
--One 2-inch diameter styrofoam ball, carefully cut in half with a sharp knife (get adult help, please!)
--White glue
--Wooden toothpicks
--Paint brush, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide
--Glitter--silver, gold, black or any other colors you want
--Yarn, black or other colors (optional)
--Needle-nosed pliers (or scissors will do)
--Small paper clip
What You Do
First, start with the rings:
    --The CD will become Saturn's rings. Usually one side of the CD has printing on it. This is the side you will decorate with glitter.
    --Try not to get glitter in the center part of the CD, where you will be gluing the styrofoam ball.
    --Rinse the paintbrush out between uses, so it will stay soft and easy to use.
    --Use the paintbrush to carefully spread glue on the CD. If you want to make it look like some of the rings are silver and some gold, spread the glue only where you want to put the first color, then sprinkle the glitter on the wet glue. Let it dry completely. Then repeat for the remaining areas. You can use as many different colors as you want. Just be sure to let the glue dry completely for each color before adding the next color.
    --If you want to use yarn also--for example, black to show the divisions in the rings--glue it on and let it dry before adding the glitter.

Then decorate the planet:
    --Stick a toothpick into the flat side of each half of the styrofoam ball to give yourself a handle.
    --Use the paintbrush to apply glue and glitter on the round part of each half, as you did for the CD. Let the glue dry completely.

Now put them together:
    --Take the toothpick out of one of the styrofoam halves. On the other half, make sure the toothpick is stuck exactly into the center and push it in until it starts to poke out the top.
    --Spread glue around the center of the decorated side of the CD. Pick up the CD and place the styrofoam half with the toothpick exactly in the center of the CD, toothpick sticking through the hole.
    --Now push the other styrofoam half onto the toothpick sticking out the hole on the other side of the CD. When both halves are flat against the CD, a small part of the toothpick will be sticking out one of Saturns "poles." Break it off with needle-nosed pliers.

And hang it up:
    --Open a small paper clip so it looks like this:
    --Decide which half of Saturn you want to be the top. Since Saturn's axis is tilted 27 degrees, stick the paperclip into the top about ½ inch away from the center (where the toothpick comes through). Angle the paperclip so it passes through the hole in the CD and helps hold the two styrofoam halves together.
When you hang your Saturn up, and it turns in the breeze, you will see the "rings" from different angles, just as we see the real Saturn at different angles from Earth.
    --Tie any length of thread to the paperclip and hang your model wherever you like.

Source: The Space Place

Fall Into a Black Hole

This printable board game was created for NASA's The Space Place site for kids.  Download and print the game board and rules & pieces.
Color Game Board
Black & White Game Board
Rules & Pieces

Source: The Space Place


Canned Constellation

Make El Nino Pudding
What You Need:
--Four small packages of gelatin dessert mix (like JELL-O® brand) in these colors:
    Purple (like grape or blackberry)
    Green (lime)
    Yellow (lemon)
    Red (like cherry, raspberry, or strawberry)
--1 quart lemon or pineapple sherbet
--Whipped cream
--Glass casserole dish or glass bowl that can hold 8 cups of liquid
--Measuring cup
--Four mixing bowls (or fewer, if you wash them out between colors)
--Rotary beater or whisk
What You Do:
--Do these steps for each of the four colors of gelatin:
    --Dump the gelatin mix into a bowl. Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
    --Important! Let the gelatin mixture COOL to room temperature.
    --When the gelatin mixture is cool, add 3/4 cup of the sherbet, and mix in with the beater or whisk.
    --One color at a time, carefully pour the "pudding" mixtures into the glass dish. Pour the colors in this order:
        Purple (bottom)
        Red (top)
--Put the pudding into the refrigerator until it is completely set.
--Now for the artistic part. When you are ready to serve, scoop out the servings at an angle so that you can see all the different layers from the top. Depending on how much you like whipped cream, make it look a little like one of these TOPEX satellite images of the Pacific Ocean with the El Niño condition. Use the whipped cream to make the white "El Niño."

Source: The Space Place

Field Trips
--Tulsa's Air and Space Museum


Service Projects