NASA Inspired Family Science Day!

A few weeks ago my library set up an amazing training with two Education Outreach Specialists from NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Mission. This mission collects data from satellites orbiting the Earth about precipitation. They use that data to look at weather patterns, extreme weather events, global climate change and so much more. The training was designed to give librarians the ability to do some of the educational activities that these two scientists do as outreach in our libraries. It was so fun to learn some tips on teaching science, and in the name of Fizz, Boom, Read, I planned out a 3 week Family Science Fun Day series to do some of these activities literally an hour after the training. It was that good!

The best part is that they offer complete lesson plans, amazing videos, and TONS  of other resources on their website. My co-worker and I hosted the first of my Family Science Fun Days at the end of June, and we had a blast. It was so easy to put on because I followed the plans for the Building for Hurricanes: Engineering Design Challenge offered on the PPM’s website. We did this activity in my training, and I knew right away it would be fun for families to do together. The basic idea is that you use simple materials (paper, straws, string, popsicle sticks, tape, etc.) to build a tower strong enough to withstand a “hurricane” (aka wind from standing fan). Check out some of the brilliant designs:

Hurricane Towers


Our families were very successful engineers. They all worked together and had great conversations about their designs. I had grabbed a few books on engineering and building which provided some inspiration for some of the families Each structure passed the 3 levels of our test – fan on low, medium, and high speeds!

Anyone else doing family science activities this summer? How’s it going? If anyone is still looking for from science inspiration, seriously check out the resources from NASA’s education outreach websites. It’s amazing!


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