Students become virtual astronauts in this web-based program from NASA

NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston offers a free, online educational initiative called the Virtual Astronaut Program. It’s an interactive, three-dimensional web site designed for students in grades 5-8 that integrates existing life-science research data and NASA educational products into a suite of instructional materials. Activities include a “Complete the Skeleton” game, in which students put together all 206 bones in the adult human body; a topography hunt in which students locate Earth’s landmarks as viewed from space; a lesson and quiz on plants in space; and much more. The site contains electronic activities, teacher’s guides, and teacher briefs that include space and life science content. Educator guides help teachers with lessons on how astronauts purify their water in space, as well as solar power, neuroscience, microgravity, and more. The site also provides several links to additional life and space science resources for educators.

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