Space: 14 to 16 year olds
This list is designed to link to suitable resources to use space as a context for teaching STEM subjects for 14 to 16 year olds.
Some of these resources require FREE registration with the STEM Learning website. Registration also gives you access to thousands of other quality assured STEM resources.
Links and Resources
This resource is aimed at teachers of upper secondary students and is linked to elements of GCSE science specifications as well as supporting aspects of the national curriculum for mathematics computing and geography.
The materials use real satellite data from different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum to provide an introduction to scientific image processing techniques.
This taster resource looks at the hazards of radiation exposure in space travel by modelling mutation in seeds with Rabidops. They are imaginary plants made from midget gem sweets and cocktail sticks. Rabidops are loosely based on Arabidopsis, a plant used extensively in genetics research and also used in several space experiments looking at the effect of gravity on plant growth.
For teachers of secondary school science, this Astro-Pi physics resource looks at gravity, microgravity and weightlessness.
Students learn the fundamentals of gravitational force and potential energy, and apply these ideas to projectiles and orbiting bodies - particularly the International Space Station (ISS).
Satellites and other spacecraft use star cameras to image space and to determine which direction they are pointing. This resource, suitable for upper secondary school students, looks in detail at the night sky, examining objects and orbital motion within the solar system.
This resource is linked to the Astro Pi competition www.astro-pi.org
Produced with the input of experts and teachers, this 17-minute video from ESA illustrates how simple experiments, in space and on Earth, can be used to investigate Newton's three laws of motion. The video also examines the difference between mass and weight. The video uses demonstrations from two astronauts on the International Space Station and from classes in three different countries in Europe. Many of the simple experiments performed in the schools can easily be repeated in the classroom.
This AstroPi resource helps students investigate the magnetic field of the Earth. The series of activities develops from basic principles of magnetism through to some understanding of the nature and cause of the Earth's magnetism.
Details about the Astro-Pi competition can be found at www.astro-pi.org
Students practice calculations of the force between objects. The meaning of the inverse square law is discussed.
• introduction to Newton’s law of universal gravitation
• calculations involving force, mass and the distance between objects
This investigation looks at the effects of subjecting a living organism (yeast) to some extreme conditions and observing changes to rates of reaction – indicating the ranges at which it can survive.
Curriculum areas covered:
• Cell biology
• Enzymes & rates of reaction
The video shows Chris Carr explaining the conditions that extremophiles can live in and how to perform the investigation into the conditions in which yeast can survive.
This resource includes a suite of games designed to promote thinking, learning and understanding as well as being enjoyable and engaging. They are all based around molecules that play key roles in life on Earth.
Curriculum areas covered:
• Chemical formulae
• Bonding and molecular shape
• Carbon cycle
This resource, devised by Anu Ojha from the National Space Centre, uses the context of the planet Mars to investigate pressure, magnetic fields and meteorites. There is also a demonstration of how to cook up a comet.
The presentation contains information that relates to both the pressure and TVs and magnets activities.
A NASA resource, that takes a mathematical approach to looking at radiation, and will enable the student to be familiar with many forms of radiation, how it is measured, and what different doses can lead to over time. They are intended as supplementary problems for students looking for additional challenges in mathematics and physical science from age 11 to 19 years.
This DVD lesson from ESA takes a look at aspects of robotics in novel environments which compliment the traditional laboratory or classroom environment. Practical demonstrations performed in space and on Earth introduce and explain several aspects of robotics, specifically robotic movement mechanics, sensors, programming and control.