Form a small team comprised of children and adults, design a robot, solve the challenge, and be part of the Google Lunar X PRIZE race to the Moon with LEGO® MINDSTORMS®
Target Age Group
Students will study first person accounts and press kits for the Apollo missions to understand the differences between technology then and what we know today.
You will need
computer with internet service, printer, pencil and paper
Mathematician Eric Jones spent many years interviewing astronauts about visiting the Moon and compiling the original documents from the Apollo missions. The website (click here to visit) features a wealth of information, including transcripts of Earth to Moon conversations.
What to do
1. Explore the website and think about a research question that interests you. Are you interested in the science and technology of the time, the details of the missions, or the astronauts themselves?
2. Choose a topic to study and present to the class. Consider how you will assure that what you present is accurate.
3. Here are some ideas for topics and presentations:
(a) What technology is available to us now that did not exist at
the time of the Apollo missions? How did they compensate for
some of the inventions they did not have?
(b) What was it really like to be an astronaut? What were they
doing and talking about? Mission transcripts are written like
scripts and can be read aloud. For example, if you click on Apollo
11 Surface Journal, drag down to The Journal and click on One
Small Step, you will find the famous words that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin said
when they stepped onto the Moon.
(c) What were the goals of the different missions? How do they compare? How did they build on each
(d) Go on a scavenger hunt! Choose a detail that you are curious about -- for example, “What did the
astronauts eat?” -- and search through the Press Kit and/or Journal to find the answer.
(e) Click on Apollo 13 Surface Journal. Drag down to Cortright Commission Report. Study what went wrong
with the mission. Could anything have been done to advoid this mishap?
What's Going On
Sometimes what we learn about science doesn’t come directly from the people who experienced it. It might be a movie we saw, something on the internet or something someone tells us. It may not be correct. Research is important to be sure what we think we know is true. To further explore this idea, view the movie Apollo 13 (Universal Studios, 1995.)
For a view of the original documents from the Apollo missions.
Visit the website here
Download complete guide as [PDF ]