6th – 8th Grade
Water Filtration Challenge
VA SOL Alignment: 6.6, 6.8 and 6.9
Have you ever wondered how astronauts get clean water all the way in space? Through the NASA Water Filtration Challenge students collaborate, design, and build a water filtration device out of commonly available materials following the same design process by the engineers and scientists who developed NASA’s International Space Station Water Recovery System. To meet this challenge, students use an iterative process as they build, test, and measure the performance of the filtration device, analyze the data collected, and use this information to work toward an improved filtration design. Finally, students explore local Virginia watershed systems and investigate human impacts on the environment.
Scream Machines IN-HOUSE ONLY
VA SOL Alignment: PS.8
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: PS.8
VA Math SOL Alignment: 6.5
Have you ever wondered how astronauts land safely back on Earth after visiting outer space? Engineering safe space capsules for astronauts’ return 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: 6.1 and 8.3
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, work collaboratively with partners to test different programs, and more!