3rd – 5th Grade

Space Freeze

Explore why liquid nitrogen is so important to NASA and the effects of extreme temperature change on the different phases of matter. Create a cloud in your classroom and discover what happens when metals get just as cold as space.


Bring on the Noise

VA SOL Alignment: 5.5

Explore the science of sound by building your own instrument! Engage in a hands-on, collaborative investigation to engineer and refine a musical instrument. Analyze experimental data to draw conclusions about pitch, wavelength and frequency. Investigate the importance of NASA Acoustic Engineers through an exploration of sound mechanics onboard the International Space Station. 


Lighten Up

VA SOL Alignment: 5.6

Build a Solar Powered car and explore the importance of radiant energy on Earth and in space! Experiment with waves and investigate transverse wave structure, calculate relative wavelengths and compare frequencies of various waves. Learn how NASA uses radiant energy to power the International Space Station. 



VA SOL Alignment: 5.4

Spark your interest in electricity through various energy-transforming investigations! Build an electromagnet, assemble closed circuits and investigate static electricity with a Van de Graaff generator. Learn how NASA harnesses critical electrical energy transformations onboard the International Space Station. Explore several STEM career pathways in electricity. 


Simple Machine Rovers 

VA SOL Alignment: 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 5.1 and 5.3

Explore the marvels of NASA Engineering with Simple Machine Rovers! Rover mechanisms rely on the basics of simple machines to land, collect, and return samples from Mars. Students work in engineering teams to build a Mars rover similar to NASA’s Opportunity (2003), Curiosity (2011), and Perseverance (2020). This program allows students a chance to investigate all six types of simple machines by building a Mars rover, all while inspiring the next generation of explorers! 


Scream Machines IN-HOUSE ONLY

VA SOL Alignment: 3.2 and 5.3 

Gear up for a wild ride with the Scream Machines program! Investigate the forces that go into roller coaster construction. Learn all about gravity, potential/kinetic energy, and friction by engineering, testing, and calculating data from your very own roller coaster! Learn how NASA Engineers design space capsules to fight the forces of friction when returning back to Earth from space.


Space Capsule Scramble IN-HOUSE ONLY

VA Science SOL Alignment: 5.3

VA Math SOL Alignment: 4.14, 5.1 and 5.5 

Have you ever wondered how astronauts land safely back on Earth after visiting outer space? Engineering safe space capsules for astronauts returning to Earth is a critical mission at NASA. Learn about several important STEM careers that help engineer safe space capsule designs to get astronauts back to Earth. Then, design your own space capsule structure to protect an Eggstronaut from a four-story drop! Measure mass, velocity, acceleration, and force upon impact to investigate the importance of parachute engineering in safe space return. 


Robotics VEX 123 IN-HOUSE ONLY

VA SOL Computer Science Standards Alignment: 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 and 5.2

Learn about coding basics with our programmable VEX 123 Robots! Use VEX Coding Cards to program any sequence of loops and commands. Challenge yourself to navigate along custom snap field tiles, create VEX obstacle courses, and more!


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