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Space-related Design Challenges for Your Classroom

About Design Challenges

We believe that design challenges represent the next step in the evolution of hands-on teaching and learning: they bring knowledge and understanding together with physical objects and real-world problems and situations.

The educational use of the design challenge draws from the rich tradition of the engineering design process—in essence, it requires students to apply their knowledge of science, mathematics, and other subjects to solve problems. This method of teaching and learning promotes teamwork, encourages creativity and risk taking, and fosters the skills that students need in the real world. From brainstorming to building and testing solutions, students learn to reflect on their work and the wide range of solutions inherent in complex problems. The Tech is uniquely positioned to promote the design challenge pedagogy as it reflects the spirit and mission of the museum—to Inspire the Innovator in Everyone.

Design Challenges

Acrobat  PDF file Getting to Mars | 22.2k PDF file (Requires Acrobat Reader)
Acrobat  PDF file Living on Mars | 12.4k PDF file (Requires Acrobat Reader)
Acrobat  PDF file Space Station Design Challenge | 5.6k PDF file (Requires Acrobat Reader)

Where can you find other space-related design challenges?

Exhibit Educational Materials

The following teachers' guides were developed to accompany the "Destination: Space" and "Liberty Bell 7 Recovered" exhibits on display at The Tech in 2001. Although the materials and lesson plans contained in these guides were designed to supplement a class visit, they can be used as stand alone lessons as well.

Destination: Space Teacher "Flight" Pack (developed by COSI) This teacher's guide includes information on the exhibit components as well as activities for students to complete during their visit. It also contains a build-a-space-station design challenge lesson plan that can be done as a follow-up activity to your visit or as an independent activity in the classroom. A list of resources for teachers is also provided.

Acrobat  PDF fileSpace Teacher "Flight" Pack | 370k PDF file (Requires Acrobat Reader)

Liberty Bell 7 Recovered Teacher's Activity Guide (developed by BBH Exhibits) In this resource, teachers will find not only the story of Liberty Bell 7, but also hands-on science explorations for students. Activities cover a range of scientific topics from physical science (transfer of energy, properties of matter) to life science (structure and function of living systems.) A list of resources is also included in this guide.

Acrobat  PDF fileLiberty Bell 7 Recovered Teacher's Activity Guide | 1.1Mb PDF file (Requires Acrobat Reader)

Online Resources

A comprehensive list of Web sites that have information related to the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, interviews in our Visionary Voices section, and space exploration.

©2001 The Tech Museum of Innovation

The Tech Museum of Innovation