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Julia Giordano

TED 460
Subject Area(s)
Earth and Space, Science and Technology, Measurement
Associated Unit: History of Technology
Associated Lesson: Technology in Space
Grade Level: 6-7
Time Required: 4 days
This three-day lesson is part of a unit on technology and its history. Prior to this lesson, the class will
have studied the technologies of the past, starting with ancient Egyptian times. At this point in the unit,
the lesson is geared toward the technology of today and the future. The first day of this lesson is
preparing for the second day, which will be a field trip to see a planetarium show. The third day includes
a design activity and a conclusion.

Engineering Connection
Engineers solve problems using innovative technology every day. The technology of today makes use of
satellites in space. For us to really appreciate engineering, studying the technology it creates will give
perspective to students. Our lives are influenced greatly by technology; we are dependent on it. Showing
students the connections of technology and space will provide them with a connection of engineering,
technology, math, and science.

Engineering Category = #2
Space, satellite, technology, planetarium, communications

Educational Standards
New Jersey
Math Standard
CCSS.Math.Content.6.RP.A.3: Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical
problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line
diagrams, or equations.
CCSS.Math.Content.6.RP.A.3d: Use ratio reasoning to convert measurement units; manipulate and
transform units appropriately when multiplying or dividing quantities.
New Jersey
Science Standard
5.4 Earth Systems Science: All students will understand that Earth operates as a set of complex, dynamic,
and interconnected systems, and is a part of the all-encompassing system of the universe.
New Jersey
Technology Standard
8.2 Technology Education, Engineering and Design All students will develop an understanding of the
nature and impact of technology, engineering, technological design and the designed world as they relate
to the individual, global society, and the environment.

Julia Giordano
TED 460
ITEEA Educational Standard(s)
Standard 1. 6-8. F. New products and systems can be developed to solve problems or to help do things
that could not be done without the help of technology.
Standard 1. 6-8. H. Technology is closely linked to creativity, which has resulted in innovation
Standard 4. 6-8. D. The use of technology affects humans in various ways, including their safety,
comfort, choices, and attitudes about technologys development and use.
Standard 6. 6-8. D. Throughout history, new technologies have resulted from the demands, values, and
interests of individuals, businesses, industries, and societies.
Standard 9. 6-8. G. Brainstorming is a group problem-solving design process in which each person in the
group presents his or her ideas in an open forum.

Learning Objectives
After this activity, students should be able to:
Relate the technologies we use everyday to space

Measure and scale distances in space

Design an idea for an app that connects to other people in the world

Materials List
Each group needs:
1 map of the United States

1 ruler

Introduction / Motivation
Has anyone ever been to space? I didnt think so! But believe it or not, some of you might be able to go
there in the near future. Many new technologies are being made in space that help us down here on Earth
and also up in space! Even though space is pretty far away, the Earth and space are connected. Has
anyone ever heard of the International Space Station? This station is a place where astronauts, who can
be engineers, mathematicians, and scientists, go to explore space, make new technologies, and do
experiments. We are going to watch a video that gives us a tour of the station now!

For this three day lesson, the teacher needs to know about the International Space Station, where it is, and
what types of things go on there. Teachers should have an idea of what the planetarium show is like.
Teachers need to know the distance from the Earth to the International Space Station.
Before the Activity
Gather rulers and maps for each pair of students.
Make sure video is ready to go on computer and projector.
Make sure any pictures are pulled up on computer as well.
With the Students
Day 1
1. (Engage) Ask the class if they have ever heard of the international space station. Take any comments
they have.
2. Tell the class that we will be watching a short video about the international space station. Tell them
to watch closely and think about what kinds of things astronauts do in this station.
3. Play part of the video for the class.

Julia Giordano
TED 460
4. When the video is over, have a discussion with the class about the international space station. Ask
what the students saw in the video and what goes on in the station.
5. During the discussion, make sure to tell the class that the astronauts do many experiments, science,
math, and engineering up in space. All of their work helps us to live today.
6. (Explore) Ask the students how far away they think the space station is. Take all answers and ask
what they can compare that distance to (House to school, classroom to office, a few miles, etc.). Tell
them that the international space station is located somewhere in between the Earth and the moon.
7. Divide the students into pairs. Each pair will get a map of the United States and a ruler.
8. Write on the board that the International Space Station is located about 400 kilometers above the
Earths surface. Instruct the students to find an equivalent distance on their map. They should start
from the location of the school. The students must figure out the scale of the map, as well as
necessary conversions.
9. As students are doing the activity, walk around as help if needed. The activity will take about 10
10. Ask students to share their findings. One answer is about the distance from New York to Washington
11. (Explain) Bring the classs attention to the front of the classroom. Show a picture of the Earth and the
International Space Station.

Image 1
Image file:
ADA Description: This photo shows the international
space station orbiting the Earth.
Caption: ISS over the Earth

12. Have a discussion with students about the International Space Station is among many satellites at this
distance high above the Earth in space. These satellites, which are researched and developed with the
help of the International Space Station, help to power and connect many of the technologies we have
13. Ask students what types of technologies they use. Ask how they can be connected with other people.
(Many will say texting, phone calls, social media). Explain that these are applications of
technology. Ask students what a short name for applications might me. Get the students to say
apps. Most students will know what an app is in relation to phones, computers, and tablets. Tell
the students we will be working with apps after the planetarium show.
14. Tell the students that tomorrow we will be seeing a planetarium show about space and the technology
created there.
Day 2
1. See the show To Space and Back at the New Jersey State Museum.
a. This show focuses on the exploration happening in space to create technologies in our
world today. The students will see many examples of things we use daily that have a
connection to space.

Julia Giordano
TED 460
Day 3
1. Ask students about the planetarium show. Ask what they liked and what they learned.
2. Make a list on the board of all the devices they saw that used technology in space.
3. Talk about how we are connected with the whole world because of everything happening in
4. (Elaborate) Start talking about apps. Ask the students for some examples of apps. Many apps
allow us to connect to other people, so make a point of this. Tell students that apps can be made
by anyone with an idea and creativity. Apps need to use science, math, engineering, and design
to be created.
5. Tell the students that they will be creating their own app today that has to be able to connect to
other people. The students will work in groups of 3 or 4. They must brainstorm possible ideas,
draw their design, and create a presentation to sell their app to the class.
6. (Evaluate) This design project will be due at the end of the next class period.

Activity Embedded Assessment: During the activity on day one, students will be informally assessed on
their scaling calculations. Their science journals will also be collected and checked.
Post-Activity Assessment: Students presentations on the next class period will be assessed by their
design process, sketches, and final proposal.

Supporting Program
The New Jersey State Museum Planetarium showing of SkyScans show To Space and Back.