International Space Station - Life in microgravity

Part of:

Google Expeditions
Lesson overview

In this lesson students will develop their knowledge and understanding of gravity by exploring what microgravity is and considering some of the challenges this poses as well as coming up with some solutions.

Learning outcomes
  • To know what microgravity is
  • To be able to list some problems that microgravity can cause
  • To be able to state some solutions
  • To further describe the challenges of living in microgravity

Expedition Prep Checklist

Download the Google Expeditions App on all devices and select the expedition International Space Station – Zvezda Service Module & Node 3.

Explore the expedition and locate points of interest.

Review the video content in the Lesson resources section to update your knowledge and develop some teaching ideas.

Lesson steps
  1. Introduction (10 mins)
    Recap prior learning about gravity in space. Ask: What problems do you think microgravity might cause on the ISS? Show examples on slideshow. Explain they will be visiting the Russian built Zvezda service module and exploring the dining room, kitchen and exercise equipment.
  2. Expedition (20 mins)
    Students to complete the expedition, then discuss how the dining table is different to theirs at home. Ask: Why does the astronauts hair stand up?
    Students discuss three different ways the astronauts prevent objects floating around the modules.
  3. Activity (30 mins)
    Ask students to identify how everyday objects on the ISS are different to those we use. In groups students share their photos / lists of how objects are tied / fixed down. They then choose an everyday object, activity and piece of furniture and design a version for the ISS.
  4. Extension
    Students research the health problems that living in microgravity causes and how astronauts are rehabilitated when they return to Earth.