Gravitate Towards Fun on National Space Day!

Celebrate the wonders of our universe on May 3rd for National Space Day!

From Galileo’s early studies in astronomy to the Cold War-era space race and humankind’s first steps on the moon, people throughout the ages have looked to the stars with curiosity and a sense of adventure.

Did you know that space travel and discovery also means using math, science, technology, and engineering every step of the way? We rely on scientific experts here on Earth to design spacesuits, rovers, and rockets and compute flight plans, analyzing the data to help astronauts reach new frontiers. And don’t forget about studying the human body to see just how we react to weightlessness. Or how to get all your nutrients from freeze dried ice cream and Tang!

This National Space Day, share in the excitement of space exploration and let your curiosity blast off with the resources and activities below. Learn about scientific discoveries within our solar system and watch astronauts navigate daily life aboard the International Space Station!

Explore the Science of Space

Tour of the Solar System with Ready Jet Go!

Grades K-2
Embark with Jet and his friends in the fastest interstellar spaceship and take a tour of our Solar System to learn about all the planets!

Astronauts | Science Trek

Grades K-5
What is it like to work in space and on the International Space Station? Astronauts have a challenging and fascinating job. It takes lots of different scientists to make it possible for astronauts to do their work. Join host Joan Cartan-Hansen and the Science Trek crew as they travel to the Johnson Space Center to learn about what it takes to be an astronaut.

Life On the International Space Station: An Astronaut’s Day

Grades 3-8
Learn how astronauts sleep and use the restroom while living on the International Space Station. Tom Marshburn, Expedition 34 flight engineer, talks about life aboard the orbiting space station in this video from NASA.

The Rocket – NASA is Born | Space Chase USA

Grades 3-12
The Wright Brothers introduced the world to flight, but do your kids know how NASA came to be? Find out in this video from PBS station WUCF and PBS LearningMedia.

Solar Space Telescopes

Grades 6-12
In this video from NOVA’s Sun Lab, explore how scientific understanding of the Sun and space weather has improved with data from three solar space telescopes: SOHO, STEREO, and SDO. Solar telescopes capture detailed images and information that scientists use to study both the interior and atmosphere of the Sun.

NOVA: Finding Life Beyond Earth | How the Inner Solar System Formed

Grades 6-12
In this video segment adapted from NOVA, learn how our solar system formed from a cloud of gas and dust more than 4.5 billion years ago. Watch video that features real satellite imagery as well as simulations to illustrate how small bodies in the early solar system collided with each other to form larger objects and early planets (protoplanets). See how computer simulations have shown that over tens of millions of years, collisions between hundreds of protoplanets formed the rocky inner planets we see today.

Activities, Games & More

Exploring Space: 10 Books for Little Astronauts

Grades PreK-3
Almost every child has questions about space. What happens to the sun at night? Why does the moon change shape? What are shooting stars? How do astronauts live in space? Is there life out there? Here are ten books that can help answer their questions… and perhaps inspire new ones!

Salt Painting Our Solar System

Grades PreK-3
The sun is the center of the Earth’s solar system, giving light to the planets as they orbit around it. As Jet and his friends will tell you, getting to know the solar system is key to learning more about our universe. Help your child learn about our place in space with this art project.

Stargazing and Other Astronomy Activities You Can Do With Your Kids

Grades PreK-5
Space is a fascinating and sometimes confusing topic for kids. Stargazing provides a great opportunity to start exploring the cosmos! Take your child’s curiosity further with a few simple ways to learn about the wonders of astronomy together.

Mindy’s Moonball

Grades K-3
Mindy is traveling through the galaxy to play a game of moonball. Learn about gravity while setting the best course for the ball to reach each basket in this PBS KIDS game!

Map a Model Solar System

Grades 6-8
Customize a scale model of the solar system on a map with this interactive. Set the center of the solar system at any location in the United States, pick a scale based on the size of the Sun or Earth, and then see the relative locations of planetary orbits on the map.

Life Cycle of Stars

Grades 9-12
Explore different stages of star formation and death with this interactive from WorldWide Telescope Ambassadors Program. Use this resource to model how massive and Sun-like stars change over time and to make a claim about the origin and dispersal of elements.