Using the ISS-Above in your Middle School classroom

About the curriculum

ISS-ABOVE received funding from CASIS (Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) to create curriculum for schools, space canters and after-school programs. The curriculum contains information on configuring your ISS-ABOVE, 10 lesson plans with teacher guides and student worksheets and an additional 8 activities that students can do independently or in small groups.

The Teacher Handbook contains all the materials. Both it and separate Lessons Plans are available below for download. The materials may be used within your schools free of charge, but most lessons require an ISS-ABOVE, which can be purchased here.

What subjects does the curriculum cover?

The ISS-ABOVE curriculum primarily covers materials in NGSS standards. However, if you want to collaborate with teachers in other disciplines of cross over to other science/math subjects, the Matrix of extension subjects shows you the cross-cutting areas.

Vocabulary words

The spreadsheet ISS-ABOVE Vocabulary Words allows you to filter words by lesson.

Teacher Materials

The Teacher Handbook

Download the complete teacher guide to the ISS-ABOVE here.

The Lessons

The lessons are structured as follows:

Unit 1 - Orbits

            Lesson 1: Orbit Tracks

            Lesson 2: Orbit Calculations

Unit 2 – ISS Passes

            Lesson 1: Active Passes of the ISS

Unit 3: - Scale of the Universe

            Lesson 1: Scale of the Earth, Moon and the ISS Orbit – Modelling

            Lesson 2: The Scale of the Solar System

Unit 4: - Changing Locations

            Lesson 1: Changing Location of Your ISS-ABOVE

Unit 5: - Scratch Coding

            Lesson 1: Scratch Coding to Calculate the Distance of the ISS from You

Unit 6: - Surviving in Space

            Lesson 1: Set a Table for the ISS Crew

            Lesson 2: Food, Exercise and Sleep on the ISS

            Lesson 3: Who’s Onboard – ISS Astronauts, Current and Past

NOTE: In the Additional Resources section in the Teacher Handbook is a Space Lotería/Bingo game designed by NASA HDEV team and others at Johnson Space Center for this age group. It can be downloaded and requires color printing.

The Activities

The following downloadable activities are provided for individual, small group or even class projects.

Activity 1: The brightness of astronomical objects

Activity 2: Other Satellites (Iridiums)

Activity 3: Journey to the ISS

Activity 4: Students Experiments on the ISS

Activity 5: What do ISS Astronauts Do All Day

Activity 6: The One-Year Mission

Activity 7: Design Your Space Bedroom

Activity 8: Views of the Earth and the ISS

The activities are for student use (namely, no teacher notes are provided). Students should be able to follow the activity notes, assuming they have all the required resources to hand.

Spanish translations of Student Worksheet and Activities