Friday, March 8, 2013

Our Trip into Outer Space

We took a trip into outer space a few weeks ago to wrap up our very long space study.  We studied planets, black holes, stars, astronauts, moon phases,moon landing,constellations- lots of space stuff.  We lapbooked  a lot of it(another good link).  But all the stuff about astronauts we learned on our space day and I just tied in a bunch of the other stuff we learned.

Disclaimer: Let me say first, that we do NOT do these days every day.  I wish we were that fun.  We do maybe 2 or 3 of these days the entire year. All the other days of our homeschool year we do boring math workbooks just like the rest of you out there.

Here is the activity my 5th and 6th grader did with oreos for the moon phases, but this was not on our actual space day trip-

they drew yellow on one side of the plate and labeled it for the sun and then do the moon phases w/labels

Sissy resisting the temptation to eat her moons

When we do a theme day I always distribute agendas for the day-

You will see that our flight was delayed for 10 minutes due to snow.  Snow meaning mommy didn't get started on time.

The kids get their fake tickets to board the plane( see below).  Sometimes we will sit under the kitchen table and I will play some airline youtube videos for take off and landing.  This time we didn't do that though.

There is  THIS great site that you can do up fake airline tickets to like anywhere in the world on any airline.  Just put in your info and print!   We were heading to Orlando of course since that is where Kennedy Space center is and the launch site.

Next on the agenda was our debriefing.  We stay in character during our adventure.  I was in charge obviously.  They were told about Kennedy Space center and I pulled up one of many tours via youtube( I already had this and a couple other videos already saved to favorites). I said things like,'now make sure you remember what floor to get off on the elevator' and they took notes.  

Here is the one we used with music muted- 

Then we used this video to learn what to expect on our mission to space-

We discussed their mission which was to rescue a space ranger that had went missing on Uranus(by the end of our study we could finally say that with a straight face).

You will see next on the agenda is "Physical Tests".  This was a silly part that the kids loved.  I held each of the kids wrist and spun them(us) around and then would score them 1-10 on how they handled it.  

Next I held an object way up in the air and told them to float up and get it-haha.  Everyone scored zeros but we had fun trying it. Especially since Bubba is as tall as me he didn't have to do much to get it.  But he still didn't technically 'float'  so a big fat goose egg for his score.

Now the last test I wanted to use a sleeping bag they would have to get in lying down and then stand up, but I couldn't find our sleeping bags(of course), so I just laid a blanket out on the floor and rolled them up in it.  They actually had a better time doing that.  Then I told them they had to go to sleep standing up like astronauts do.  This was harder to fake then you would think as you tend to get the giggles when you are suppose to be being quiet and serious.

Like a few years back when you are in this little tiny planetarium bubble igloo with 20 other people crammed together and you are tired and the speaker keeps saying things like, "you can see the rings around Uranus..."

Yeah that was me, the mature adult.  Anyway...

Then they had to get on their astronaut gear.  Ok it was snow pants and boots, a garbage bag with a neck and arm holes cut out and a pillow stuffed inside.  But it works!

Notice Princess is not in here. I thought it not such a good idea to have her stick her head inside a garbage bag.   She can't distinguish between when that would be ok and when it would not.  Princess just giggled at her siblings from the chair.

So then it was take off time.  I had already draped our blue flannel sheets over the table for our space craft.  They had to lie on their back for take off.  Then I just shook the table a lot while they watched another another yourtube video of a launch.  Shuttle Launch from Inside Orbitor  They held the monitor up in the air to see it.

We did not watch the entire thing.  I then let the kids sit up once we had entered 'space' and played this video.  The music is a bit much for my liking so we hit mute.  It also gets weird at the end with some wacky bird so we just cut it short.

I had made some 'asteroids' out of balled up construction paper and "comets" ( ice ) to randomly throw at them.  Good stuff.  Very therapeutic.

We then paused to eat some astronaut food I had ordered online.  The kids had no idea about it!  Here they are  holding the space ice cream.  (strawberry was our fave). Princess also tried all the food, I just didn't catch her in a picture.

We had some space candy-one was made of peanut butter one was made of chocolate. 
 Neither were a big hit.

This was a vacuum sealed meal which they kids actually loved and it even had peas and carrots in it!


I also had an emergency kit in the shuttle.  It had "rope"(yarn), a plastic hammer, nausea medicine, some "repair" pieces(legos), and some funny items like a rubber duck and Q-tips.

I added a small lego plate with some various legos attached completely covering the plate with one lego missing.  I taped that onto the back table leg.  One time when I threw "asteroids" at them I said that the asteroid had knocked off a piece of the spaceship. 

 I showed them the lego piece and told them that they had to use the repair kit to fix it.  I had several lego pieces in the emergency kit but only one would fit in the missing area.  

Of course they could not just go out and work on it in space. You have to taken certain precautions. So I had  a power ranger helmet that had to be put on before going into space and the person who would be making the repair had to be tethered with the "rope"(yarn) so they couldn't float away.

Hilariousness ensued when the "rope' broke and they pretended to float off(roll) into space and had to be brought back in the 'shuttle'(under the table).

Then they were on to the official mission.  I picked Uranus because it's a ball of ice and we are in the NE so it's pretty much the same.  We have a 4" high rubber Buzz Lightyear(for the tub) that I chucked in our back yard for them to find and rescue among the snow.

The mission was a success.

We made our way back to earth(umm, as in- walked in the backdoor of the house. How anti-climatic right?)  and then talked about some of the first attempts at space travel and the problems that occurred.  We watched some old news footage of Apollo 1. That may be a bit much for some children but not mine.  We talked about how in the beginning things were very risky not like now a days when heading to the moon is an old hat.  Apollo 1 really helped convey what that era was really like.

We also talked about JFK who started the space race.

It was a 'far out' day.  

Ba dum ching!

Many Blessings,
The Mama

P.S. The day that we did this was the day that Russia got hammered by that huge meteor.  Not that I was happy about that, but come on-what timing??

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