Are you looking for NASA activities that are out of this world?! If yes, you have come to the right place! We are going to explore a collection of activities that are sure to challenge, inspire, and engage middle school students. Space exploration is an interesting topic because new discoveries are being made and there is so much still to learn. Students may even discover a new passion as a result of these amazing learning experiences.
1. What is NASA?
Have you ever wondered what NASA means and how it started? If you are like most people, you most certainly have. Wonderopolis is a fantastic resource that explains the history of NASA in a way that is easy to understand.
Learn more: Wonderopolis
2. Stem Challenges
Do you have STEM learners that need a challenge? With this resource, students will compete to accomplish specific NASA-themed challenges. My favorite is designing a radiation shield. These are highly engaging web-based activities for students to practice critical thinking.
Learn more: You for Youth
3. NASA Kids' Club
The NASA Kids' Club is a great resource to incorporate into your STEM lesson plans for middle school grades. This website features fun games, science topics, and interesting facts to explore. My favorite part to explore is the Kids Club Picture Show.
Learn more: NASA Kids Club
Rocketology is a hands-on activity you can use as a STEM project. You will be combining baking soda and vinegar to simulate the chemical reaction that is used to launch rockets into space. Your students will enjoy counting down to blast off with this fun hands-on activity.
Learn more: Science Buddies
5. DIY Telescope
Are your learners always asking about what the stars and planets look like close up? Well now they can see for themselves! Telescope-themed activities are a great way for students to get real close-up experience. Build your own telescopes with this fun activity.
Learn more: Home Science Tools
6. Erupting Moon Rocks
This project is a very exciting activity students will love. Not only is it fun, but it will also build on your child's STEM skills. This is an awesome project for middle school students as they will be able to make these on their own with guidance. You will love how these turn out!
Learn more: Learn Play Imagine
7. Galaxy Jar
How beautiful are these galaxy jars? This is one of the learning activities that students will really enjoy. This project resource includes a video you can follow every step of the way. This project will be a memorable school day experience for all students.
Learn more: Ideas 2 Live 4
8. Calculate Your Age in Another World
If you are searching for math activities that connect with science and space exploration, you may want to look into this one! This website will walk you through calculating your age on other planets. This activity is a great addition to any middle school curriculum.
Learn more: Exploratorium
9. DIY Constellation Flashlight
Is there a future space explorer in your classroom? They may be interested in making their own constellation flashlight. Your students will make different constellations on each disc, so they have a few different constellations to view. This is a hands-on activity students will love.
Learn more: Handmade Charlotte
10. Glowing Galaxy Slime
There will be much excitement with activities involving slime! Students will take an exploratory approach to create their own glowing galaxy slime. They will experience many different textures with this project.
Learn more: The Soccer Mom Blog
11. Papier Mache Planets
Papier Mache planets are so much fun to make. This is a great hands-on learning activity that students with knowledge of topics involving the planets will really enjoy. These planets can be displayed in the classroom or learning environment or can showcase at a special event.
Learn more: Instructables
12. Seeing the Sky
This is a great activity book for middle school students to explore. It details 100 projects that are inexpensive and can be done during the day and at night. Hopefully, this book will be an inspiration for people to take the time to enjoy all that stargazing has to offer.
Learn more: Amazon
13. Scaling the Solar System
Tinkercad is a free program that students can use to create a scaled model of the solar system. This is an awesome activity for those learning STEM concepts in school.
Learn more: Tinkercad
14. Send a Postcard to Space
Have you owned anything that has been to space? This is your chance! Your students can all create a postcard that will be launched into space with Blue Origin. The best part is that everyone will receive their postcard back with an official stamp from space.
Learn more: Club for Future
15. Space Chats
Galactic Unite offers virtual field trips to provide students with the opportunity to chat with a real astronaut. During these conversations, astronauts will motivate students to follow their dreams and put in the effort to make dreams a reality.
Learn more: Galactic Unite
16. DIY Planets Board Game
If your students have an interest in creating their own board games, this may be a project worth exploring. This is an interactive activity that is equally fun and educational. I recommend having students work together in pairs.
Learn more: Inspiration Laboratories
17. Coffee Filter Planet Craft
Coffee filters have many uses! You can create crafts using coffee filters that resemble planets. What a great inexpensive hands-on learning activity for middle school students!
Learn more: Fun-A-Day
18. Simple Rockets
This online resource is a space-themed interactive game website for middle school students. The graphics in these games look so real and life-like. I highly recommend incorporating these activities into your STEM learning plans.
Learn more: Simple Rockets
19. Constellation Lacing
These constellation cards for students to lace are an excellent way to incorporate a hands-on activity with a review of the constellations. Students will enjoy putting these together and will have fun quizzing their friends about the constellations.
Learn more: The Idea Room
20. Planet Tours
Activate your students' imagination with an awesome planet tour! The group will be split into student teams to conduct research on one planetary body. They will use their findings to create their own travel poster or advertisement.
Learn more: Star Date
21. NASA Coding
Coding is an important skill for 21st-century learners. Coding skills are beneficial to foster creative problem-solving, strategic thinking, and mathematical applications. It is also very gratifying to see the cause and effect of coding and all the interesting things you can make with technology.
Learn more: STEM Works
22. Space Exploration Crossword Puzzle
Crossword puzzles are a good enrichment activity for any content area. Crossword puzzles also help with spelling, vocabulary, and language development. They are even more fun when you can learn about space at the same time!
Learn more: Sea and Sky
23. What is your Earth IQ?
How much do your students know about our planet? Put their knowledge to the test with this fun quiz! You can add an element of competition by giving them a time limit to complete. Students will be surprised about how much they know and have yet to learn about Earth.
Learn more: National Geographic
24. Make a Comet
This is an interesting science experiment that your students can make to learn more about comets. This will be great for middle school students to learn about the scientific method. You can pair this with a graphic organizer for students to document their learning process.
Learn more: Science Kids
25. How to Build a Galaxy
Your learners will have a blast building their own galaxy. If you have a 3D printer available, you can take this a step further and create a tangible model of your own. This is an engaging way for students to learn about the future of space exploration.
Learn more: Chandra
26. Planet Poster
As a middle school student, I always loved creating posters for school. It is a creative way for students to learn, and a great alternative assessment for writing a paper. Some students may not be strong writers, but they can show what they know just as well on a poster.
Learn more: Bright Hub Education
27. Planet Inquiry Labs
With planet inquiry labs, students will combine math and science to learn more about the solar system. This is a fantastic editable resource that can be used for both traditional and distance learning. I love these activities because they are hands-on and fun for students.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
28. Solar System Escape Room
This solar system escape room is designed for middle school learners. This is a resource that is distance learning ready and can be used as a fun activity for students to learn more about planets and the solar system.
Learn more: Kesler Science