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Gr. 3-5 / Ages 8-10 Do you wonder what it might be like to live in space? How might your life change? How would your body change? Why do astronauts appear to float in space? Imagine what it might be like to walk up walls and turn somersaults in the air. You'd even be able to balance large and heavy objects on the tip of your finger! Trading Earth's environment for a space environment seems exciting, but it's challenging to learn how to adapt to this new world. In the Pokémon world, there are legends of Dialga and Palkia's abilities to control time and space. It's possible such powers would make it easy to travel in the cosmos. But in our world, traveling and living in space is more challenging. Apparent weightlessness is one big difference when living in space. Astronauts living in such environments may enjoy somersaults, but their bodies are soon affected by the lack of gravity. Their bones and muscles weaken and body fluids move toward their upper body. Some astronauts have trouble sleeping and may become dizzy and nauseous. In this lesson, students discover how astronauts' bodies change while they are in space and what might be done to counteract these changes. Students conduct an experiment to determine the effects of physical stress on muscles. They document their observations using statistics, data analysis and digital images. Students look for patterns by comparing their results to other classmates' results. Through Internet resources, students learn why and how astronauts exercise in space and share their findings by creating a PowerPoint presentation. Students may extend this lesson by drawing and constructing their own exercise equipment appropriate for use in space.
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