Space Playground Lesson Plan
In this unit, for K-6, the class designs a playground for children
living a space settlement. Unlike Earth playgrounds, a space
playgound is a weightless environment. Most Earth playground
equipment depends on gravity: slides, swings, etc. In space,
weightlessness brings opportunities and problems. By addressing
these opportunities and problems, kids have an opportunity to learn
physics, space science and engineering at an elementary level.
The teacher must familiarize themselves with the basic physics of
weightlessness. This can be done by viewing videos of astronauts in
0g and thinking about the issues involved. Examine the results of this unit at the Santa Cruz
This lesson has been tried once. Doubtless it can be improved. Send
suggestions to [email protected].
- Show videos of astronauts having fun in
0g. Ask the children what the astronauts are doing. When one of
them answers "playing" or something similar say "Yes, they're
having fun." Then tell the class that someday kids will live in
space and need playgrounds to have fun in. No one has ever built a
space playground and they, the kids, are experts at having fun.
Then lead a discussion of what sorts of equipment they want in
their playground, the games they could play there, and how it could
- Take the class to a playground and let them play for awhile.
Then gather the class in a convenient spot to discuss each piece of
playground equipment and how it would be different in 0g. Do the
same for games.
- Have the children do the following:
- Draw a picture of a piece of space playground equipment.
- Use Legos or other 3D construction materials to make pieces of
- Tell a story about or describe part of the space playground.
Have an adult write the story down.
- Send your experiences and what the kids did to Al Globus, MS
T27A-1, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
Space Playground Home Page
Authors: Al Globus
and Adele Gardner ([email protected]).
This site was hosted by the NASA Ames Research Center from 1994-2018 and is now hosted by: