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Purdue Space Day Activities

We had a great time during the 2017 event! Check out the cool activities we had below.

Grades 3 and 4

Life in Space

Welcome to space! In this activity, you will experience life on the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS was launched in 1998 and has now served as the mechanical avatar of human collaboration and achievement. You represent the next generation of astronauts, and we are glad to welcome you aboard a human satellite resting in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Here, we conduct important experiments on biology, the human body, physics, astronomy, and so much more! While you spend your time on the ISS with us, you will need to prep your fellow astronauts for a spacewalk by building them a space suit. Learn about the components of a space suit and why they are important. Additionally, try your hands at some onboard experiments! Learn about experiments conducted in space, and see if you have the dexterity of an astronaut. Welcome aboard and enjoy your life in space!

Egg Drop

Welcome NASA engineers and designers! As you probably have heard, we are working to put a human on Mars soon! However, before we do that, we want to survey the possible landing sites first. We are sending another rover to Mars for this purpose! We need to work out the logistics of how to land this rover safely on the surface of Mars. This is what all of you are here to help us figure out! We brought all of you here because we heard that you all are the brightest minds in the area. If we want to put someone on Mars, we need to get this done first!

Stomp Rockets

Nearly 50 years ago, 3 brave men ventured beyond the friendly confines of Earth with a destination in mind: the Moon! How did Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins get there? On one the largest rockets to ever exist, the SATURN V. Learn about the incredible technology that enabled humans to reach for the stars, and try your hand at building your own rocket! How will you design your system that can fly the highest? After testing your rocket through a few launches, consider how you can change your design to get more altitude! Learn about rockets and the design process with Stomp Rockets!

Grades 5 and 6

Journey to Mars

Congratulations! You are chosen to become one of the few individuals to plan the first Mission to Mars, alongside your trusted team members. Before you begin your 35 million mile journey to the Red Planet, your team must plan your mission and decide your roles. How will your position in your team affect the ability and impact you have on mission success? How will the decisions you make on Earth, affect how your team lives on Mars? Work through the mission planning process and your "Journey to Mars" in this exciting activity hosted by the Purdue University Planetary Society! Students will work through a Mars Mission Planning process that highlights the importance of teamwork and collective contributions in STEM.

Satellite Launch

Welcome to Launchpad 39! This is the site where the rocket that took us to the Moon first launched from in 1969. Today, we will be using this historic launchpad to send satellites to space. There are nearly 2,300 satellites in space! How do we transport these important devices to space? With lots of engineering and time! Try your hand at building and launching your own satellites. Additionally, don’t forget how important material selection is for engineering and launching satellites. Experience exciting material science demos from our very own Purdue experts as you learn more about this interesting realm!

Foam Rockets

Rockets are the vehicles that allow us to journey into space and to other worlds. They work via Newton’s Third Law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In the case of chemical and electrical rockets, gases are expelled at very high speeds through a nozzle and this produces thrust that pushes the rocket forward. In order to lift off the ground, the rocket needs to produce enough thrust to counteract gravity and drag on the rocket. Foam rockets are a great tool to learn these principles first hand. The physics of these rockets also affect rockets in real life. What you learn here can be used to build future rockets!

Grades 7 and 8

Mars Rovers & Planetary Mystery Mission : Purdue EPICS

The Mars rover is an automated motor vehicle that is controlled from NASA computers. Rovers have discovered so much information about the surface and the history of Mars. They are used in space missions for many different things such as taking pictures, looking for matter, and detecting radiation. Even though the Mars Rover is about 225 MILLION miles away, we can still control the vehicle by sending commands through the Deep Space Network. Similarly, the Mars Rover can send back data by talking to a nearby satellite, which then transmits back to Earth. 
The Solar System still holds a countless number of mysteries. Powerful telescopes and space missions have discovered hundreds of exoplanets, or planets outside our Solar System, in the past few years alone! Exploring these exoplanets could possibly show us potentially habitable areas. But before sending people to new places, we must first learn everything we can about them, like the chemical elements that make up the planet or if there are any signs of water!

For more information about EPICS, visit the EPICS web site.

Apollo 13

Cast your mind back 47 years – the year is 1970, and the fifth manned mission to the moon, Apollo 13, is well on its way. Three astronauts – Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert - are 205,000 miles away from Earth when part of their spacecraft explodes. Suddenly, they are in trouble - like sailors lost at sea, they are stuck, coasting through space in their crippled spacecraft, trying to survive long enough to make it home. However, things go from bad to worse when Mission Control realizes that their oxygen is running out. Every breath they take fills the spacecraft with carbon dioxide – their filters are used up, and they only have so much time before the air in their ship becomes toxic. To make things worse, the backup filters which could clean the air are the wrong shape to fit into the spacecraft.
YOU are an engineer in Mission Control. You and your colleagues are some of the brightest minds in the country and have been working tirelessly to help these three brave astronauts come home safely. Now you must do the impossible – build a new filter from nothing but the spare parts and garbage on board the spacecraft. In your boxes, you have the same supplies that the astronauts on board Apollo 13 have. Your task is to find a way to vent carbon dioxide from the machine to outside of the room. You have 20 minutes. Good luck!

Water Rockets

Your Eggstronaut has been selected to become the next Egg in outer space! In order to make sure your Eggstronaut completes its mission and lands back safely on Earth, we need a dynamic team of students to design, build, and launch our rocket. Using tools that you can find at home, we need to design the future rockets allowing Egg Spaceflight! The Rockets, powered by pressurized water will launch from the Engineering Mall at Purdue University! Hoping you will be there to secure this launch and see the Eggstronaut perform a fantastic outer space travel!