Howdy, Junior Astronaut, we meet again! We hope you’ve brought your enthusiasm with you because we’ve prepared 5 terrific space experiments to test your astro-skills.
Read each description thoroughly before starting any of the experiments. Hey, if you aim to become an astronaut, you have to get used to taking all the precautions needed. So, pay attention and, whatever you do, remember to have a blast!
Let’s get going, because space-fun awaits.
Launch a bottle rocket
Before you hop on a real space rocket, experiment with making one at home. You’ll need a few basic materials and some patience, but watching your bottle rocket take off will be totally worth it!
Two plastic bottles (one bigger, one smaller)
Paint or markers
Play-Doh or Kitty litter
A bicycle valve
A bicycle pump
Design a space lander
If you dream of one day landing on Mars, start by understanding how a space lander works. A space lander is a spacecraft designed to safely land astronauts on cosmic objects. Do you think you can make one at home and land two delicious marshmallows safely (before eating them, of course).
To create your very own space lander you’ll need:
A paper or plastic cup
A ping pong ball or jumbo marshmallows (yum!)
Several pieces of paper
The cup is going to act like your spaceship, and the ping pong ball or marshmallows (if you can refrain from eating them) will be your astronauts.
The awesome space-lovers at Vivify STEM Space at Home have filmed a video with step-by-step instructions on how to create your lander. Explanations start at minute 6:00, but make sure to watch the entire video to get the whole idea.
Turn a flashlight into a star projector
If you love watching the starry sky, you’re going to get hyped over this next experiment. Why? Because it’s going to help you see your favourite constellations even on the cloudiest of nights. Especially on those long winter nights when you’d rather not freeze outside.
How? By creating your very own constellation flashlight disks. Here’s what you’ll need:
Black paper or cardboard
Needle, safety pin or push pin
You’ll need to cut the black paper or cardboard with the circle cutter. Make sure that the circles fit your flashlight! Then, you’ll need to punch holes in the cardboard to recreate your favourite constellations. Don’t worry if it sounds a bit complicated. Trust us, it’s not!
Watch this wonderful video created by Sophie to learn how to create your flashlight star projector step by step.
Make your own moon craters
Who knew moon craters can be so cocoa-licious? Make sure to have some chocolate near-by, because this next experiment is guaranteed to make you hungry.
Plus, it’s also guaranteed to make you more knowledgeable. If you’ve ever wondered how moon craters were created, by the end of this experiment you’ll even know how to make craters yourself.
A few small rocks (different sizes)
Although it might look at first that you’re getting ready to bake a cake, the rocks from the recipe reveal the true purpose. Follow this short video from NASA to understand how to get your first moon crater. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be fun!
Can you make a craft stick stand on a stick without using superglue? This experiment is a great lesson about gravity, one that every junior astronaut should master early on.
The trick is knowing how to play with the center of gravity. Other than that, you’ll need just a few other things:
a craft stick
a pipe cleaner
Can you figure out by yourself how to use the above materials to create a balancing act? We trust that you do. However, if you hit a bump, this video will help you get back on track:
Sit back and relax with real space experiments
Home space-experiments can get your imagination going. But we want to hit that inspiration pedal to the max, so we’ve found just the video for that. Sit back and enjoy these amazing experiments conducted by real astronauts on the International Space Station.
We bet you do. Once you start loving space, there’s no turning back. So check out our participative Junior Astronaut programmes to take your space experiments to the next level.
With us, you can:
discover how astronauts train at our space camp
What are you waiting for?