As an educator you are responsible for the
implementation of the activities found on this site. You must have
safety procedures and rules established for you classroom and make sure
all of the students follow the rules to ensure a safe environment. South
Dakota Public Broadcasting cannot in any way be responsible or liable
for any injury as a result of using the activities. Use the activities
you feel are appropriate and safe for your individual class. Have fun
and stay safe.
Questions, comments or ideas for Kids Quest can be e-mailed to Edservices@sdpb.org
It is common knowledge that all kids love to play.
Unfortunately, some of the students you have in the classroom are not as
thrilled about math, language arts or science class. Their minds may be
on recess or a television show they watched the night before. The
activity that follows is a very fun and easy supplement to bring your
class alive without straying from learning. The kids will learn and have
The focus of the following
activity examines the landing of a space exploration vehicle.
Adaptations to conditions like terrain must be considered. Landing the
shuttle on a flat surface is different than landing a capsule in the
water or landing a rover on mars. Each of the situations requires
hypothesizing, designing, and testing of new ideas.
The activity below is similar to the traditional egg drop in which
straws, tape and popsicle sticks are used to protect an egg during a
vertical drop. The main difference is that the students will be the
engineers. The students will design and test their own ideas with the
help of their parents. The Kids Quest episode "Fill Your Head With
Space” explains some of these concerns and gives the solutions NASA used
to over come them. For your convenience, all of the Kids Quest episodes
can be view on line at http://www.sdpb.org/.
Materials per group:
The selection of materials
will be limited to the students' imaginations. The materials used should
be safe. The testing of the different types of materials should be
completed with an adult present. I would suggest making a safety
agreement, which should be signed by a parent or guardian. I
Day of competition:
1 Tape measure (prefer metric - should compare to inch and feet)
Tall object (playground slide)
Paper/pencils (to record results)
Paper towels/garbage can
Rubber tub (large)
Goggles(1 per student)
*note: Amounts may vary depending on your class size.
Introduction of topic (space) (1-2 class periods)
1. Watch Kids Quest " Fill Your Head With Space”.
2. Cover information in your science text about scientific method.
3. Visit educational web sites about space.
1. The activity involves designing and testing landing capsules. This
activity is a perfect lab to use to help students understand the basics
of the scientific method. Protecting the raw egg during the landing is a
problem that can be used for the scientific method. The students will
enjoy the challenge because it is fun and you will like it because it is
educational. The number of steps completed for the scientific method
varies depending on which book you use. Below are some sites which
explain the scientific method in detail. Also, you will find a
simple example shown below.
2. The students need to design a capsule, which will safely carry a raw
egg across a launch path. You should introduce the design phase of the
project about a month before the launch date. The students will need to
stand on top of a tall object like a slide and throw the object they
design horizontal into a rubber tub. The picture below shows a typical
launch site. The students need to design and test different ideas. They
should complete the scientific method.
3. The materials used to surround the egg must weigh a pound or less.
Any material can be used as long as the material is safe. You may limit
the variety of materials used if you like. A portion of the egg must be
seen or the capsule should open so you know if the egg breaks. A picture
can be taken of the students with their capsules because they will
probably be ruined.
4. The students should climb the slide. The rubber tub is placed below
the slide and the students take turns dropping the capsules in the tube.
The capsules in which the eggs break should be placed in the garbage. The
tub is moved away from the base of the slide. The students throw the capsules again.
The same elimination process is completed. Also, the horizontal distance
is measured each time the tub is moved out. The winner of the event will
have the longest horizontal distance. Prizes can also be given for most
creative, coolest looking, etc. All items including hands should be
washed after the event.
5. The student that made the capsule reads the distance to the tub.
The time the capsule is in the air can be measured using a stopwatch. A
data table is used to record the horizontal distance from the slide and
the time in the air. With your help, the students can decide which
information they want to use to construct the graph. A graph could be
made comparing distance or flight time.
6. The activity can be modified to meet your needs. (ex. maybe groups)
(example graph, can be completed on paper)
(does not represent true data)
correctly, the following standards are used in the activity above. More
standards could be used by including spin-offs of the activity. For
example, a paper could be written about landing the rover on Mars.
Number indicates standard number
THIRD GRADE MEASUREMENT STANDARDS - THE STUDENT WILL:
1. measure time within fractions of a second. (example: stop watch)
4. explore unit relationships within a system of measurement. (example:
four quarts = a gallon)
6. estimate and measure length to the nearest quarter inch or nearest
THIRD GRADE STATISTICS & PROBABILITY STANDARDS - THE STUDENT WILL:
1. represent data in line plots, bar graphs, tables, or tally charts
using appropriate form and scales for the data.
2. determine range and mode(s) of sets of data
3. ask and answer relevant questions from data represented in charts,
tables, and graphs.
THIRD GRADE NATURE OF SCIENCE STANDARDS- STUDENTS WILL:
2. explore characteristics of scientific ways of thinking
3. understand that science involves asking an answering questions and
comparing the results to what is already known.
5. make specific predictions and observations concerning a situation or
6. gather, chart, and graph data.
7. use appropriate standard and metric measures to collect, record, and
8. communicate results of scientific experiments.
10. use appropriate scientific equipment for investigations.
11. use proper safety procedures in all investigations.
THIRD GRADE PHYSICAL SCIENCE STANDARDS- STUDENTS WILL:
1. describe physical properties of objects.
8. explain the cause and affect of motion.
11. demonstrate how light, heat, motion magnetism, and sound can cause
THIRD GRADE SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT, AND SOCIETY STANDARDS- STUDENTS WILL:
1. Investigate how people invent new ways of doing things, new ways of
solving problems, and new ways of getting work done.
2. explore how new ideas and inventions affect people.
3. explore how science has improved transportation, health, sanitation,
and communication. (ex. above 3 standards - may investigate shuttle
Resource: South Dakota Department of Education Content Standards