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Astronaut Academy

Author: Steve Martin, Jennifer Farley (Illustrator)
Lower Age: 7+
Price: $12.99
Year Added: 2017

Astronaut Academy, by Steve Martin and Jennifer Farley, is an activity book for children ages seven and up that “trains” them to be successful astronauts. With many different activities, children will gain a better understanding of what it takes to be an astronaut, and how the space program has affected the world around them. These activities include a number of physical and mental activities, from measuring reaction time with a ruler, to solving a maze while wearing thick gloves to simulate a space suit, to growing food as an example of how astronauts might sustain themselves on a trip to Mars. Other pages provide information about the International Space Station, Mission Control, and other aspects of real life space travel. As an added bonus, several pages of the book are filled with press-out items like certificates of achievement, parts for a paper model of a rocket, and even a simple board game.  As children work their way through the book, they get a chance to learn more about the life of an astronaut and the incredible engineering accomplishments that made space travel possible, while practicing problem-solving abilities and fostering a fascination for exploring the unknown!


Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about:

Ask questions about the problem, learn about the problem, refine ideas, apply science


Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: Learn about space technology and travel


Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift:

Creative thinking, working collaboratively, problem solving



Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews
    • Rating: NA
    • Feedback: NA
  • Parents Reviews
    • Rating: NA
    • Feedback: NA
  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews
    • Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “I like that the book helps children learn more about space technology. It also has fun experiments!”
      • “This book is a guide on all things to do with astronauts, such as what it's like in space or what happens in Mission Control. I liked that the book uses activities that simulate the things that astronauts do everyday.”