This is a great space science challenge to use as an introduction to a space theme and/or for exploring properties of materials.
You’re on the Space Station and need to do a space walk, but you’ve torn a big hole in your glove, how can you fix it?
Space Science Challenge
Can you fix the astronauts glove?
- Masking tape
- Gaffer tape
- Thick washing up glove
- Sink or Washing up bowl
Instructions for this space science challenge
Look at the materials you have available to fix the glove, which do you think will work the best?
Things to think about
The glove needs to be airtight, how could you test this?
Design several different tests to see if the glove is fixed. Possible tests could be:
- Place your hand inside the glove and wiggle it around, does the fix stay in place?
- Try to thread the pipe cleaners through the colander wearing the glove, it is still fixed? Is it harder to do this activity wearing gloves than not?
- Fill the glove with water? Does it leak? If water can get out, air can get in.
Questions to think and talk about
Why does an astronaut need to wear a space suit to leave the space station?
Which material do you think will fix the glove the best?
How can you test the glove is airtight again?
Do you think it’s easy for astronauts to move outside the space station wearing their suits?
Can you look at the different fixing materials under a microscope, how do the waterproof materials look different to the non-waterproof materials?
We loved the Zoomy 2.0 microscope from Learning Resources.
Opportunities for learning
Understand that space is a hostile environment and how this is overcome to keep astronauts safe.
Consider how the properties of materials affect their suitability for a task.
Understand how to test up and carry out a simple test.
More Space Science
We’ve got some great space science experiment ideas here.
Or, how about these fun activity ideas for learning about our Solar System?
This activity is taken from Science Sparks the book, available from Millgate House.