Friday, February 28, 2014

Teach Your Kids About the International Space Station: Free Star Chart and Coloring Pages | #Astronomy #Kids

My son is in his Tiger year of Cubscouts and sometimes its a challenge to find fun learning activities for them to do as a den.

I help out the Akeela(den leader) in coming up with activities and I thought, why not do something about space? I get notifications of when the International Space Station(ISS) is visible in my area. It just happened that a couple days ago, the ISS would be visible during our den meeting. I thought, why not?
Well, what I had not taken into consideration the storm that was on the horizon which blanketed the sky in cloud cover with small patches of sky visible.

While I had hoped we were able to see it, it was only going to be visible(if we were lucky) for 6 minutes. What would we do for the remainder of the hour? I wanted to teach them a little about the ISS and do an activity that they would remember.

I started out by teaching them about the ISS with this printable fact sheet.
  • It took over 100,000 people to build the ISS 
  • The ISS orbits(goes around) Earth 250 miles above us 
  • It is 290 x 356 feet length/width 
  • Over 1 million pounds heavy 
  • Uses solar power to operate 
  • Orbits Earth 16 times a day 
  • There is little gravity on the space station(they float in the air) 
  • The astronauts have to strap themselves into sleeping bags to sleep 
  • Scientists do experiments to better life on Earth without gravity effecting it 
  • There are 3-10 people on the space station at any time 
  • People stay on the space station for up to 6 months at a time 
  • The last launch to the space station in 2/27/2014! In Japan.
I found this great printable Star Wheel at Kids Love to Learn which the kids put together and are able to use when the weather permits.

I found more free coloring pages courtesy of Coloring Pages 7 that the kids could do at home.

                                  Click to print                                                          Click to print
The den meeting was a hit even though the ISS wasn't visible due to clouds.  If you are interested in finding out the viewing schedule for the ISS, feel free to visit Spot the Station.

I hope that our den meeting helps your little ones learn more about our skies.  Feel free to print copies of the pages for future learning.

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