This resource, from the Association for Science Education (ASE), is designed to add excitement to the teaching of either chemical reactions or heat transfer. Students embark on a virtual mission to the International Space Station (ISS), with the help of audio, images and video clips. When disaster strikes, they have to learn about making and testing carbon dioxide, or heat radiation, in order to stay alive.
In Space Station Survival there are two alternative problems offered:
Problem 1 - Carbon dioxide scrubber
The challenge: The space station's CO2 cleaner has failed, and CO2 is rising to dangerous levels. Can students design and test a home-made device to remove CO2 from the air in time?
This challenge provides a context for the Year Seven unit Simple Chemical Reactions (QCA SoW). For example, how acids react with carbonates, the evidence for a reaction and the test for carbon dioxide.
Problem 2 - Protective cladding
The challenge: A solar panel has broken off, exposing vital circuits to the heat of the Sun and the intense cold of space. Can students design some protective 'cladding' to minimise heat transfer? This challenge provides a context for the Year Eight unit Heating and Cooling (QCA SoW). For example, mechanisms of heat transfer and how radiation allows energy to travel through a vacuum.
Teachers can also use the challenges to address the Key Skill of problem solving including using unfamiliar resources, devising, planning, trying out and making changes.
There is a specially recorded audio mission commentary, taking students from launch, through to living in the ISS, and finally to the moment of disaster. It is a conversation between the Flight Commander and Mission Control at key moments during the mission. There is a separate commentary for each problem.
Alternatively, teachers could show a combined audio/visual presentation through a digital projector or interactive whiteboard, using the PowerPoint file supplied (which contains appropriate NASA images, timed to the audio track). Please note that due to the inclusion of the sound file this PowerPoint file is very large.
HEALTH and SAFETY
Any use of a resource that includes a practical activity must include a risk assessment. Please note that collections may contain ARCHIVE resources, which were developed at a much earlier date. Since that time there have been significant changes in the rules and guidance affecting laboratory practical work. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance.