Engineering, Math, Physics, Science
3D Printer, Laser Cutter/Engraver
Description: This project is inspired by NASA Glenn’s Spacecraft Safety Engineering Design Challenge. Utilizing the NASA engineering design process, students work in teams to examine a problem, brainstorm and propose potential solutions, build and test prototypes, record results and observations, and reach a consensus on a final solution. Students will study the history of NASA and its missions, including future missions to the Moon and Mars. They will learn how NASA designs and tests spacecrafts and the design elements it must consider when developing a spacecraft, including fuel tanks and astronaut harnesses. Students will design and build a model of a spacecraft that can safely transport two astronauts, protect the fuel tank, and have a workable hatch. A drop test will determine how well the spacecraft protects the astronauts and the fuel tank during landing. This project takes approximately 16 hours to complete.
Distance Learning: This project includes an in-person learning option and a distance learning option. The in-person learning option requires a 3D printer to complete, with the option of also using a laser cutter/engraver.
Standards: This project aligns to Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, Next Generation Science Standards, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, and Florida CPLAMS Standards for sixth grade through twelfth grade.
21st Century Skills: Creativity, Flexibility, Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking
Recognize the history of NASA missions and programs.
Develop plans and brainstorm ideas as a team.
Create a mission patch.
Recognize that falling objects have energy.
Demonstrate energy transfer.
Demonstrate certain materials absorb energy on impact.
Produce a force to propel a small film canister rocket.
Recognize the importance of safety in spacecraft design.
Apply a multi-step design process.
Recognize the role of criteria and constraints in the design process.
Write a problem statement.
Summarize research from a variety of sources.
Evaluate competing design solutions.
Create, test, evaluate, and improve a prototype.
Compare class design solutions.
Create a computer-aided design of a spacecraft capsule.
Construct a spacecraft with a hatch, exterior skin, interior fuel tank, and seats with harnesses.
Use and share makerspace equipment safely.
Create a multimedia presentation.
Describe the importance of NASA's partnerships.
Recognize NASA's future plans to travel to the Moon and Mars.