Teacher's Guide for ODYSSEYTM Open House for the Space Station
"The International Space Station: Putting It All Together," pg. 6
"What's for Dessert?", pg. 12
- Since 1984, some 100,000 people worldwide have contributed to the
International Space Station (ISS) effort. In one way or another, sixteen
countries will have worked toward building modules, assembling components in
orbit, and maintaining an operational space station. In a sidebar, meet the
first crew of the ISS..
- Vocabulary, Problem Solving
"'Flushing' in Space,", pg. 15
- Food engineers at Cornell University must design nutritious and appealing
meals for astronauts, using only those ingredients available for long space
missions. Desserts are especially tricky. Anyone for sweet potato ice cream?
- Vocabulary, Applications
"Pamela Melroy: Heading Over the Rainbow," pg. 16
- Going to the bathroom in zero gravity is easier now than it was in the early
days of space flight. High-flying devices for answering nature's call recycle
water and compact solid wastes.
"Guide to Bird Watching," pgs. 21
- ODYSSEYTM interviews NASA astronaut Pamela Melroy. She will pilot the third
space shuttle mission to help assemble the ISS early this year. Highly
trained and experienced, Melroy is ready to fulfill this latest stage of her
- Goal Setting, Careers
"EarthKAM to the Space Station," pg.22
- A NASA Web site provides the up-to-the-minute longitude and latitude of the
ISS. Use the data to test your plotting skills and confirm the inclination of
the station's orbit.
- Following Directions, Graphing
"Looking Back at Space Station History," pg. 24
- Would you like to design a research project for space? Submit your question,
and a camera on the ISS may take the pictures you need to answer it. Then
you'll be ready to share your findings and conclusions with NASA scientists.
- Experimental Design, Analysis of Data
"Russia's Mir: Taking the Fall," pg. 28
- Russia's Salyut series, America's Skylab, and the Russian Mir were
free-orbiting forerunners of the ISS. Each space station, as well as the
shuttle-borne Spacelab module, has provided valuable information about living
and working in space.
- Extrapolation, Technological Development
"Bail Out! - Escape From Space," pg. 31
- The Russian space station Mir, in orbit for over 13 years, is now "bruised,
battered, and broken." If allowed to fall to Earth, can it drop safely into
- Cause/Effect, Forming Hypotheses
"Your Flight to the International Space Station," pg. 34
- How do you evacuate a space station? Space scientists are developing and
testing varying models of a CRV (Crew Return Vehicle) in case of a crisis
aboard ISS. A sidebar (pg. 32) proposes measures to make space travel safer.
- Problem Solving, Design and Development
"What's Up (Planet Watch and Backyard Observations)," pg. 38
- The X-PRIZE Foundation offers a $10 million reward for the company that
first reusable launch vehicle. A successful RLV could make space tourism
commonplace within a decade or two. A sidebar (pg. 36) profiles five entries
in the X-PRIZE competition.
- Applications, Extrapolation
"Fantastic Journeys: A 'Totality' Perfect Birthday," pg. 46
- January brings a meteor shower and a total lunar eclipse during the Full Wolf
Moon. While Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are visible in the evening skies, Venus
remains a morning planet.
- Observation, Following Directions
Think Tank (Discussion Starters to Use Before Reading the Magazine):
- Gideon Bass tells how he celebrated his 13th birthday - watching a total
solar eclipse from a cruise ship in the Black Sea.
- Exploration, Reporting
Classroom "Syzygy": Talk, Connect, Assess
- Make a "to do" list detailing everything that must be done for 16
countries to build and maintain a permanent international space station. Add
to the list as you read.
- Make a list of questions about life aboard the ISS. Post the list and look
for answers in this issue of ODYSSEYTM. Head for the library and the Internet
to find answers to questions that remain unanswered.
Pg. 6 - "The International Space Station: Putting It All Together"
Far Out!: Moving Beyond the Magazine
pg. 30 - "Bail Out! . . . Escape From Space"
- Talk It Over:
- Construction in space presents a unique set of challenges. Name some, and
tell what skills crew members must employ to achieve their goals under such
- What problems arise because of the ISS's international partnership? What
skills must engineers and astronauts use in dealing with such problems, and
what benefits may accrue from solving them?
- History: The ISS has been described as "humanity's most complex
construction project ever." Make a list of what you believe may be the ten
most complex construction projects of the past. Then construct a bulletin
board, displaying facts, illustrations, and descriptions of each.
- Graphic Design: On a piece of graph paper, design a galley (kitchen) for
the ISS, keeping in mind the constraints on preparing, serving, and consuming
food in space. Discuss the choices you make and the equipment you include.
- Language Arts: Pretend you are a member of the ISS construction crew.
Write a journal entry for the past week, describing life aboard the ISS and
the work you have performed.
- Student Assessment:
- In a paragraph, describe the benefits and difficulties of constructing a
space station in partnership with several other countries. In a second
paragraph, explain why such an undertaking would be difficult if not
impossible for any one nation.
- Write and deliver a dedication speech for the ISS - to be given upon its
completion and translated into every Earth language. Include highlights of
the station's history and construction in your address.
- Talk It Over:
- What is the X-38? What features allow it to serve as an effective CRV?
- What hazards exist for those living in space? What precautions should be
taken to protect future space travelers?
- Art/Design: Create a poster for residents of the ISS, describing emergency
escape procedures. Use illustrations that can be understood by all, no matter
what language they speak.
- Language Arts: You are the writer of a major movie production, Crisis in
Orbit, the story of a fire on the ISS. Write the scene where the astronauts
escape successfully. Use screenplay format with stage directions.
- Political Science: Design a treaty on safety in space to be signed by all
nations that use the ISS. Include in the treaty a shared plan for removal of
hazardous debris from space.
- Student Assessment:
- Give a speech to new arrivals on the ISS. Instruct them in emergency
procedures, much as flight attendants instruct passengers on earthbound
- Considering its dangers, is space travel worth the risk? State an opinion
and back it up with two or more logical arguments.
"For decades they built from plans and designs."
Large-Group Activity: In teams, create four classroom learning stations:
"Food in Space," "Exercise in Space," "Sleeping in Space," and "International
Cooperation." Charge each group with researching and presenting information
on the chosen topic - perhaps including experiments or demonstrations.
Invite another class to visit your learning centers.
"They saw Mir abandoned and Skylab fall"
Whole-Class Project: Prepare a bulletin board using the title "The Struggle
to Explore." Divide the board in half and use visuals and text to compare the
problems of early explorers of Earth's frontiers with those encountered by
ISS astronauts. Point out similarities and differences.
"The ISS captured their hearts and their minds."
Community Connection: Survey parents and community members to compile a list
of questions about life in space. Then, contact the public relations
department at NASA (look on their Web site, www.nasa.gov) to arrange a
telephone interview. Publish a booklet of questions and answers, including
the questioners' names. Distribute copies to participants and local
"One world united, in orbit for all."
Individual & Whole-Class Project: Ask each student to find something in the
night sky - perhaps a planet, constellation, or satellite. Write
descriptions of the sitings and directions on how to repeat them. Arrange for
the observations to be read or published as a "Skywatch Tip" in your school's