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3rd – 5th Grade

SMALLab

SMALLab is a 3D mixed reality learning environment where students actively engage both their mind and body to learn new and/or challenging subjects, rather than solely listening to lectures and/or watching demonstrations. Installed in a designated room at VASSC, SMALLab takes students from behind their desks and immerses them in more than 1,000 interactive, standards-aligned learning activities.

Programs offered as 

Hands-On Program 

On-Site Only 

VA SOL Alignment: Our SMALLab digital interactives can be catered to grade and SOL topic. Please reach out and schedule in advance with the curriculum coordinator so program alignment is met. 

Space Freeze

Why is liquid nitrogen so important to NASA? Explore the effects of extreme temperature change on the different phases of matter. Create a cloud in your classroom! Can we freeze air? Discover what happens when metals get just as cold as space!

Programs offered as 

Interactive Demo 

On-Site Only 

VA SOL Alignment: K.4, 2.1 and 2.3 

Storytime with Comet

Programs offered as 

Off-Site 

On-Site 

Comet the Dog, the new VASSC mascot who is a friendly neighborhood dog in a NASA flight suit, comes to life to inspire young learners about Space Exploration, Aviation, and STEM topics through STEM literacy. A VASSC STEM Educator and Comet will engage with the students as they read through a book of your choosing. Current book selections Include: 

Roaring Rockets – by Tony Mitton & Ant Parker (Ages: 4-6; Grades: K-1st)

Adventures of Pilot Pete – by Peter Weber (Ages: 4-7; Grades: K-2nd)

Reach for the Stars – by Emily Calandrelli (Ages: 4-8; Grades: K-4th)

When I Grow Up I Want to be like the Brave Men of Tuskegee – LaVon Stennis Williams (Ages: 4-8; Grades: K-3rd) 

Astronaut Training – by Ameta Cruz (Ages: 3-7; Grades: PreK-2nd) 

Moon! Earths Best Friend – by Stacy McAnulty (Ages: 4-8; Grades: K-4th)

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race – by Margot Lee Shetterly (Ages: 7-9; Grades: 2nd-5th)


space freeze

SOL: K.4, 2.1, and 2.3

Why is liquid nitrogen so important to NASA? Explore the effects of extreme temperature change on the different phases of matter. Create a cloud in your classroom! Can we freeze air? Discover what happens when metals get just as cold as space.

Programs offered as 

Interactive Demo 

On-Site 


bring on the noise

SOL: 5.5

Through hands-on exploration students will be able to demonstrate and explain how sound is produced from vibrations. Students will construct, explore, investigate and refine an instrument (harmonica) to produce different pitches. Through a NASA lens students will investigate that sound is the transfer of energy and explore recent NASA sonification data.

Programs offered as 

Hands-On Program 

Virtual Program with Live Educator 

On-Site 

Off-Site 


earth-moon-sun

SOL: 4.6

What causes the sun to rise and set every day? Learn how the Earth’s four seasons are caused. Learn the difference between the geocentric model of old and the heliocentric model of today (and the philosophers and scientists that introduced each theory to us). Classify the different phases of the Moon and discover how they occur through hands-on activity!

Programs offered as 

Hands-On Program 

Virtual Program with Live Educator 

On-Site 

Off-Site 


gross science

SOL: 3.5 and 4.3

Learn all about food webs and the importance they play in healthy ecosystems. Explore producers, consumers, and decomposers of different habitats. What is the difference between a food web and food chain? What can you learn from dissecting owl pellets? See what a mosquito’s nose looks like and discover why they want your blood!

Programs offered as 

Hands-On Program 

Virtual Program with Live Educator 

On-Site 

Off-Site 


lighten up

SOL: 5.6

Through exploration students will be able to demonstrate and explain how radiant energy is transformed into mechanical and electrical energy. Students will construct, explore, investigate and refine a solar powered car. Students will investigate through a NASA lens that radiant energy is a vital energy source not only on Earth but also on the International Space Station!

Programs offered as 

Hands-On Program 

Virtual Program with Live Educator 

On-Site 

Off-Site 


scream machines (in-house only)

SOL: 3.2 and 5.3

Did you know there’s science in roller coasters?! Investigate the forces that are at work in our everyday lives. Learn all about gravity, potential and kinetic energy, and friction by building your own roller coaster!

Programs offered as 

Hands-On Program 

On-Site 


electricity

SOL: 5.4

In this lesson students will predict, investigate, collaborate and extend their knowledge of electricity. Using hand crank flashlights and a model of the copper atom, students will gain a conceptual understanding of how the flow of electrons is generated via magnetism and electron flow. Students will participate in demonstrations detailing various energy transformations. Three hands-on investigations will allow students to collaborate, construct and explore open/closed circuits, insulators/conductors and electromagnetic properties. Lastly, students will participate in a demonstration of static electricity with a Van de Graaff generator and discuss key properties associated.

Programs offered as 

Hands-On Program 

Virtual Program with Live Educator 

On-Site 

Off-Site 

Contact the Reservations Coordinator to request your reservation.

Program Types:

Hands-on Program

This program type allows students to construct and investigate scientific topics covered and can be delivered off-site. 

Interactive Demo

This program type is led by a VASSC STEM Educator who showcases scientific topics. Throughout the program there are opportunities for students to engage as volunteers in demonstrations. 

Virtual Program with Live Educator

This program type is offered virtually through Nearpod and is led by a VASSC STEM Educator via Zoom. Virtual programs offer live demonstrations of scientific topics. 

On-Site Only

This program type is only offered on-site at VASSC. 

Off-Site

This program type is offered off site – we can travel to you!