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 some of the personal safety
issues encountered by astronauts. Life at the outer edge of the
atmosphere and beyond is very harsh. Concerns like health,
weightlessness, temperature extremes and respiration difficulties have
prompted the development of protective devices. 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 viewed on line at http://www.sdpb.org/.
Materials per group:
stopwatches (PE Dept.) 4 - 6 per class -classroom clock will work
glove or mitten (many- brought by the students)
snow boots (many - brought by the students)
film canisters (10 - 15)
10 ml graduated cylinder or measuring spoons (10-15)
thermometer (many - science dept. caution may contain mercury)
graph paper (1 per student)
colored pencils (many)
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 environmental
3. Visit educational web sites about space.
1. The activity involves testing the thermal protection of winter
clothing. Our local environment can be very extreme. In space there is
no atmosphere so the temperature changes very quick. Without sunlight,
the temperature outside the shuttle can fall as low as -150 degrees
Fahrenheit. In the sunlight the temperature can rise as high as 300
degrees Fahrenheit. On Earth the change isn't as noticeable because we
have an atmosphere. Although, we have seasonal temperature changes. The
activity described next will test some of the environmental protective
clothing we have to keep us safe and warm in a harsh South Dakota
2. This activity must be completed on a very cold winter day. The
students need to bring a total of 10 - 15 different types of boots and
gloves. I suggest testing either all boots or all gloves to make
comparison easier. The students will compare the thermal protection of
each boot or glove brought.
3. The students need to fill 10 to 15 film canisters with water. The
same amount of water should be used in each canister. I would suggest
using a 10 milliliter graduated cylinder. If graduated cylinders are not
available, measuring spoons can be used. The canisters can be filled
with as much water as you like. Note: filling them with more water will
extend the amount of time needed to freeze the entire sample. You will
need to pre-measure one canister before the experiment to figure out how
much water to use.
4. The water temperature of all the canisters should be the same. This
can be accomplished by leaving a milk jug of water out overnight.
Running water out of a faucet or water fountain will not work because
the starting temperature for each sample will be different. Now you have
a choice. Thermometers can be used to establish the exact temperature of
the water. This may be a bad choice for some classrooms because of the
students' ages and maturity. I would suggest, having one set up in the
front of the room used as a quantitative assessment. A quantitative
assessment involves the actual reading and writing down of actual
temperatures. The rest of the experiments could be set up as qualitative
assessments in which general observations are noted and recorded.
5. One canister should be placed in each of the gloves and boots. The
ends can be closed using masking tape. The students should check the
canisters at 5-minute intervals. They should make notes of visible
changes seen in the canisters. The students will continue to make
observations at 5-minute intervals until all of the canisters are
frozen. The setups can be brought inside and melting times can be
checked also. Safety note: Make sure the kids stay warm. It would be a
good idea to let the students back in the school to warm up as needed.
6. The data table is used to record the observations. With your help,
the students can decide which information they want to use to construct
the graph. A graph could be made comparing sample number and time taken
to freeze the samples.
7. The activity can be modified to meet your needs.
NOTE: Using the qualitative approach of checking the canisters is not the most accurate choice because the boots/gloves will be opened each time data is collected. Increasing the time to 10-15 minutes between data collection would help. A better option would be to use a thermometer to monitor changes. This quantitative option would be the most accurate if there are enough thermometers. A probe would be placed in each boot/glove before it is sealed, then the readouts could be placed near a classroom window so all of the readings could be taken from inside. The boots/gloves would not be opened for each data collection.
(example graph, can be completed on paper)
(does not represent true data)
If completed 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
the information gathered about phase changes.
Number indicates standard number
THIRD GRADE MEASUREMENT STANDARDS - THE STUDENT WILL:
4. measure time within fractions of a second. (example: stop watch)
2. explore unit relationships within a system of measurement. (example:
four quarts = a gallon)
6. measure and compare objects using measurable attributes. (temp. )
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.
3. ask and answer relevant questions from data represented in charts,
tables, and graphs.
THIRD GRADE NATURE OF SCIENCE STANDARDS- STUDENTS WILL:
4. describe scientific contributions made by people worldwide. (temp
6. gather, chart, and graph data.
7. use appropriate standard and metric measures to collect, record, and
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.
4. demonstrate and explain that materials can change from one state to
10. describe the sun's ability to produce energy in the forms of light
11. demonstrate how light, heat, motion magnetism, and sound can cause
THIRD GRADE LIFE SCIENCE STANDARDS- STUDENTS WILL:
3. explain how behavioral and physical adaptations allow animals to
respond to life needs. (example: finding shelter, defending themselves,
hibernation, and camouflage)
THIRD GRADE EARTH/SPACE SCIENCE STANDARDS- STUDENTS WILL:
4. describe sequences of natural events. (day and night, seasonal
changes, phases of the moon)
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 - history of gloves and boots)
Resource: South Dakota Department