This exciting program, brought to you by the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory and the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Library Foundation, provides you with access to a wide variety of ISS National Lab educational materials to bring space into your classroom.
Get started today! Below are some resources you can access right away to help spark excitement in your students about their journey into space science exploration:
- Welcome to the International Space Station Poster: Use this poster included in your welcome packet to help introduce your students to the ISS. Learn fun facts about the space station and use the inflatable Earth and moon (also included in your welcome packet) to engage students in the “Measuring Distances to Space Destinations” demonstration outlined on the poster.
- Space Station Explorers Kit: Also included in your welcome packet is the ISS National Lab Space Station Explorers Kit. This space-themed activity guide designed for students in grades 3–8 provides several hands-on activities that use low-cost supplies and align with national education standards.
- Space Station Explorers Educational Programs: Explore some ISS National Lab educational programs that you can participate in right away, including those listed below. Learn more about each of these in the JFK Space Labs program catalog included in your welcome packet.
- Story Time From Space: Watch videos of astronauts onboard the space station read science-themed children’s books and perform related science demonstrations.
- Orion’s Quest: Engage students in virtual missions in which they analyze photos and/or videos downlinked from the ISS and submit their findings. Missions focus on a variety of topics, including plants, microbes, spiders, butterflies, stem cells, and more.
- Windows on Earth: View our planet from the vantage point of astronauts on the ISS. In the Mystery Images From Space activity, students examine photos taken from the ISS (showing different cities, rivers, islands, etc.) and try figure out what’s in each photo.
- Space Station Explorers Activities and Lesson Plans: Visit https://www.spacestationexplorers.org/lesson-plans/ to access dozens of additional free space-related activities and lesson plans.
To learn about ISS National Lab educational programs that provide students with a deeper dive, browse the JFK Space Labs program catalog. Discover how your students can work with local amateur radio operators to talk with astronauts onboard the ISS National Lab. Find out how to participate in a competition that could send your students’ DNA experiment to space. See how your students can use a digital camera on the ISS take pictures of our planet and explore Earth science. Learn about these exciting programs and more!
Enjoy the goodies in your welcome package and learn about the Space Station Ambassador program on the included postcard. See how to join the Space Station Ambassador network of more than 600 educators dedicated to promoting ISS National Lab initiatives—and receive training and exclusive access to program resources.
As part of the JFK Space Labs program, you will receive email updates on current space-themed events and new ISS National Lab educational products and activities. You will also receive a subscription to Upward, the official magazine of the ISS National Lab, to learn about the exciting research being done on our nation’s one-of-a-kind laboratory in space.
Remember to request your free Tomatosphere seeds so that you can plant your own classroom garden with space-flown seeds! Go to https://www.spacestationexplorers.org/educational-programs/tomatosphere/ to learn more about the Tomatosphere program and find out how to request seeds.
JFK Space Labs honor the inspirational heritage of JFK and the innovative technology that enabled America’s Apollo program, and we are excited to provide this unique tool to help you rekindle the power of space to inspire and engage your students. Welcome aboard!