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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

Science
Astronauts and Spacesuits
Category: Science
Tags: astronaut how to be an astronaut space suit spacesuit astronaut suit international space station iss outer space

 

Two subjects I've always been fascinated by are twin studies, and space exploration -- an unlikely pairing which, in the mission of Scott Kelley, has enabled scientists to glean data, as never before, on the effects of spaceflight on the body.

You can watch all the episodes of Time's documentary, "A Year In Space," here; and find learning activities based on the series here and here. Visit the following sites for additional free resources about astronauts and space: 

All About Spacesuits: This interactive resource, created by NASA, explains how a spacesuit functions as a personal, mini-spacecraft that enables an astronaut to live and work in the harsh space environment. Learn about the suits worn for the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, shuttle, and spacewalk missions.

 

Space Exploration Mini-Unit: Seven lessons, with articles and videos, beginning with how to become an astronaut, and culminating in the future of space exploration.

 

 

Train Like an Astronaut: Combine learning about the requirements of space exploration with physical fitness. This site offers videos and free activity guides that explain how exercise and proper nutrition help astronauts maintain and improve important aspects of fitness such as physical strength, endurance, speed, flexibility, balance and coordination.

 

 

Astronaut VideosSee how astronauts eat, sleep, brush their teeth and do other tasks aboard the International Space Station.

 

                    

 

Clickable Spacesuit - Learn about the different parts:

 

 
                  
Health/Anatomy Visuals
Category: Science
Tags: ear anatomy eye anatomy smokers lungs

Interactive Eye: The guide takes you through each step of the visual process; the anatomy of the eye; how each part works; how the brain interprets images.

Interactive Ear: View interactive models of outer, middle and inner ear, with descriptions of each part.

 

 

Smoking Lung: See how the lungs work and the difference between healthly lungs and lungs affected by smoking.

 

 

More Free Health Resources

 



Science In Your Garden
Category: Science
Tags: science for kids garden earth science life science

If you’re looking for some hands-on activities to study earth and life science, head out to a garden. It’s a living lab that affords all kinds of opportunities to observe science concepts in the natural world, such as:

 

  • interdependence in an environment

  • life cycles and changes

  • adaptations and biodiversity

  • human impact on the environment.

While in the field, kids get a chance to be the scientists by asking questions, making observations, and coming up with explanations for what they see based on evidence. They can define problems they may encounter in a garden (eg. a plant-damaging pest), and gather additional information to brainstorm solutions.

For an idea of the kinds of investigations that can be done in a garden, visit LifeLab, a Santa Cruz-based non-profit organization that hosts field trips and summer camps at their garden classroom. Or go online to download their free garden exploration units for grades 1 - 4. Each unit - Pondering Plants, Soil Stories, Garden Pollinators, and Garden Habitats - includes six lessons.

Additional free resources available at the LifeLab site:

 

Here are some more ideas from KidsGardening, like creating a biosphere in a bottle.

 

For Middle and High School Grades

 

Nature Works Everywhere has a variety of free gardening lesson plans and videos, including, How Dirt Works, and activity guides on Habitats, Living Systems, Soil, Water, Food and Carbon, and others. These guides and others can be found on their Resources page.

 

From the Ground Up, The Science of Soil has free lesson plans and labs on a variety of soil topics including composition and nutrients; there are also free family activities for testing your soil, careers in soil science, and a garden guide.

 

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