The Science of Spacesuits

How does the study of spacesuits fit into the curriculum? If you’re pondering that question, here are a few pointers that might help you integrate the science of spacesuits into your lesson plans.

Earth Science Topics

  • Atmosphere: Contrast the atmosphere of Earth to the vacuum of space.

  • Air and atmospheric pressure: Discuss the need for pressure.

Physical Science Topics

  • Vacuum: Discuss what happens to objects in a vacuum.

  • Radiation: Identify what type of radiation is present in space.

  • Temperature: Explain what causes the extreme differences in temperature.

  • High-speed micrometeoroids: Discuss the effect of an impact of energy.

Life Science Topics

  • How would the human body react to the space environment without a spacesuit?
    •    Effects of radiation.
    •    Effects of no oxygen.
    •    Effects of low atmospheric pressure.  

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Lab Safety in Schools and in Orbit

The lab safety topic module gives you and your students a lot of room for original content. You can create products demonstrating that lab safety is just as important in the school environment as it is in the dazzling environment of space.

While the NASA audio and video clips talk about safety in the world’s largest orbiting science laboratory, you can create your own audio and video discussing and demonstrating safety rules that apply to your specific experiments. Students who might otherwise get bored with a discussion of lab safety may be fascinated to build a multimedia product that compares similar safety rules on Earth and in space. And for the students with hands-on involvement in the podcasting project, it’s extra reinforcement of your school’s lab safety rules.

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Scriptwriting Ideas for Spacesuits Production

A variety of clips are available so that students have the option of focusing on a single aspect of spacesuits. For example, one student team might create a production about the layers and systems required to make a spacesuit work, while another might compare U.S. and Russian spacesuits or highlight ways to control pressure and temperature inside a spacesuit. Here are a few basic script suggestions to help generate ideas for your project:

General Overview of Spacesuits

Narrator: Hello. I’m Emily Jones, and today we’re talking about out-of-this-world clothing — with a little help from NASA.

Astronaut: NASA clip 1-v

Narrator: Spacesuits look cool, but their design isn’t about making a fashion statement. Astronauts depend on the spacesuits for survival when they venture outside their spaceship.

Astronaut: NASA clip 12-v

Narrator: Spacesuits protect astronauts from the harsh environment of space.

Astronaut: NASA clip 3-v

Narrator: The inside of a spacesuit has several layers to hold pressure and systems to get rid of heat that builds up during spacewalks. NASA is developing new spacesuits for moon walkers and Mars travelers. To learn more about spacesuits, go to

Comparison of U.S. and Russian Spacesuits

Students could research what the two suits have in common and what their differences are. Clips to insert might include 1-v, 2-v, 7-v, 8-v, 12-v, 13-v and 14-v.

Checking Out the Inside of a Spacesuit

Students could discuss the layers and systems required to make a spacesuit work. Clips to insert might include 4-v, 5-v, 6-v, 9-v, 10-v, 11-v and 12-v.

Share your scriptwriting ideas and questions in the Comments section below.

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NASA Education Introduces DIY Podcast

We’re excited to introduce the Do-It-Yourself Podcast activity in the For Educators section of We’ll provide audio and video clips of astronauts performing work in space and on the ground. Your students can preview and download the clips to build their own podcast or similar audio/video project.

Learning modules on the DIY Podcast page will be categorized by topic to assist students with creating projects about a subject of interest. Each subject module includes video and audio clips, images, helpful information and links to related resources. A variety of audio and video clips will be provided to enhance flexibility and creativity. Students can create video or audio projects using free or inexpensive software on Windows or Macintosh computers. You and your students are encouraged to distribute your NASA projects through podcasts, social networks, Web sites, CDs, DVDs or any channels that you choose.

Today’s digital environments give students the tools to actively create and share content, not just passively consume it. Researchers say students who create and evaluate media are deriving a sense of competence, autonomy, self-determination and connectedness. A Pew Internet & American Life Project study finds the majority of American youth using the Internet are involved in some kind of content-creating activity, such as blogging, making profiles, sharing photos and videos, creating Web sites and remixing content. NASA Education’s DIY Podcast activity is designed to actively engage students in science, technology, engineering and math.

The Do-It-Yourself Podcast Blog will give you updates on our progress. We’ll let you know when additional topic modules are available and offer tips and suggestions for incorporating the DIY Podcast into your classroom. We hope you’ll use the Comments feature of the blog to share your ideas and experiences with teachers and students. Let us know how you’re using the DIY Podcast material and what we can do to make it better.

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