A graphic reading: Dive into Space Week with out-of-this-world adventures

Dive into Space Week with out-of-this-world adventures!

Get ready to reach for the stars, fellow Superheroes, because World Space Week 2023 is October 4 to 10! Space exploration is the universal “wow” factor that can bring a burst of excitement and curiosity into your classroom, no matter what subject you teach.

Space-related topics are real-world, cross-disciplinary gems that spark global awareness, boost problem-solving skills, and encourage critical thinking. So whether you’re a math whiz, a literature lover, or a history buff, get ready to discover how to make this Space Week an educational adventure like no other!

Space exploration projects

This year, World Space Week is centered around the theme of “Space and Entrepreneurship.” Space exploration projects offer students a unique opportunity to apply their science and engineering knowledge in the pursuit of exploring and creating new frontiers. These space exploration science projects serve as a powerful bridge between classroom learning and the real world, enabling students to tackle genuine challenges and envision the many exciting career paths within the realm of the space industry.

Encouraging students to explore the wonders of space doesn’t have to be limited to the science classroom. History enthusiasts can delve into the fascinating history behind the mission patches worn by astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) as well as those from earlier NASA missions. Aspiring artists can create captivating artwork capturing the ethereal beauty of waxing and waning crescents, full moons, and everything in between. Find more inspiration on DLTK’s Sites for Kids

Explore the cosmos outside of the classroom

The Astronomy Association of Arizona (AAA) is dedicated to bringing the wonders of the night sky to the public through various stargazing events across Arizona. Observe celestial objects through powerful telescopes, learn from expert astronomers, and foster a deeper appreciation for the cosmos in a welcoming and educational atmosphere. 

Take your astronauts on an exciting adventure to the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration. Walk through the Meteorite Gallery to encounter celestial artifacts from distant corners of the universe, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Science Operations Center, and discover how researchers are shaping the path for humanity’s future on the Red Planet at the Mars Space Flight Facility. 

End your adventure with a visit to the ASU Marston Exploration Theater, a state-of-the-art venue that transports audiences on mesmerizing journeys through our own solar system, distant galaxies, and beyond through immersive 3D shows. You can find the current list of shows here

NASA space missions in Arizona: A stellar legacy

Arizonans have extra reason to celebrate Space Week this year, with ASU and University of Arizona (UofA) at the helm of two different NASA missions: Psyche and OSIRIS-REx. 

Psyche is more than just an asteroid within the Sun’s orbit between Mars and Jupiter; it’s also the namesake of the first ASU-led deep-space mission, dedicated to the exploration of this celestial body. Watch a special program by Arizona PBS, “Psyche Mission: First to Metal, An Origin Story,” to discover more about this exciting deep-space expedition. 

Spearheaded by scientists from the UofA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, OSIRIS-REx represents a historic milestone as the inaugural U.S. mission to retrieve and bring back an asteroid sample for scientific analysis. Learn more about the mission and watch the historical sample return livestream recording here

As we wrap up this cosmic journey, remember the wonders of the universe are not just distant points of light in the sky; they are missions for discovery and inspiration right here on Earth. 

How can your students embark on their next mission to space? Share your ideas on our social media channels at @ArizonaEducator on X (formerly Twitter) or Arizona PBS KIDS on Facebook.


About the author

Ashley Burkart, Biology faculty at Estrella Mountain Community College, holds a Masters in Biomedical Science from Midwestern University, where STEM research became her first passion. When she isn’t teaching tomorrow’s leaders, she is either hanging out with her dogs, Raven and Bailey, or hiking the beautiful mountains of Arizona. 

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