Life in a Can

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A cross-curricular resource for primary and lower secondary schools that investigates life and how it can be maintained in the harsh atmosphere of space.

The engineers and scientists who built the International Space Station are faced with huge challenges - everything needed to keep astronauts alive must be flown up to low-Earth orbit which is very expensive. The system must remain completely self-contained, providing comfort and sustenance while outside the temperature fluctuates massively.

The activities within this resource ask 'what is life?' from a human perspective, looking at systems within the body including the skeleton and organs. Learners consider how we are adapted to conditions on Earth and the ill-effects of life in microgravity.

A technological perspective on life-support is also taken, by studying systems and algorithms that maintain optimal conditions for life. Children use computational thinking to consider how best to look after the inhabitants of the space station. This resource supports the Astro-Pi competition

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