Science Demonstrations for a Spacesuits Podcast

If you plan to use the DIY Podcast Spacesuits topic module for your students to create their own video podcast, you might consider requiring them to do a science demonstration to enhance their understanding of science concepts and improve the overall quality of their podcast. One of the best ways to understand a concept is to do it, and NASA Education has resources to guide students in creating their own demonstrations. The Spacesuits and Spacewalks Education Activities page lists links to lesson plans.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Some of the lessons from the Suited for Spacewalking Educator Guide now have demonstration videos. The videos give brief explanations of lesson concepts and the materials and setups needed for demonstrations.
  • In the Keeping Your Cool demonstration, students learn how the liquid cooling and ventilation garment works.
  • Micrometeoroids and Space Debris helps students explain the need for spacesuits to provide protection from tiny, high-speed particles in space. Students can also learn about the various layers of the spacesuit.
  • The Bending Under Pressure demonstration allows students to use inflated balloons and rubber bands to discuss how NASA engineers must construct a spacesuit so that astronauts can work in it when it is pressurized.
  • Students demonstrate how surface color affects heat absorption in the Absorption and Radiation demonstration.

As students rehearse and record their demonstrations for a podcast, they gain a deeper, more practical understanding of these science concepts.

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DIY Podcast: Spacesuits

Resource for Spacesuits Production

One of the DIY Podcast topic modules is Spacesuits. Along with NASA video, audio and images, the topic module includes an overview of spacesuits. Educators who want their students to dig a little deeper and research some of the details about spacesuits may be interested in the NASA Education Spacesuits and Spacewalks Web site.

The site features an interactive spacesuit experience. Students can mouse over parts of a clickable spacesuit and find out why each piece is important. The site has information about a couple of science teachers turned spacewalkers, a collection of activities to help students learn about and design spacesuits, career profiles of spacesuit designers, technicians and engineers who teach astronauts how to work in a spacesuit, and video and images of past and future spacesuits.

The materials on the Spacesuits and Spacewalks site could enhance your students’ script and the overall production they create using the DIY Podcast Spacesuits topic module.

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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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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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