Healthy, strong family relationships are foundational to young people’s growth, learning, and well-being.
These relationships build strong social and emotional strengths that kids use throughout their lives.
But great family relationships don’t just happen..
Welcome to My Discovery Destination!
Discovery Family Adventures
where your family can find plenty of opportunities to
The Discovery Family Adventures provide ideas, activities, and experiences to help build strong family relationships.
Our goal is to strengthen family relationships to help kids be and become their best selves
and to support parents in raising happy, successful, resilient kids in an exciting,
but sometimes turbulent and dangerous world.
Choose from the Adventures listed below
(or design your own family adventure!)
GOAL: Learn About Space Exploration
The ADVENTURE: Choose activities below that will interest your family and help them better understand the universe and the world they live in.
Let the kids choose which activities to participate in
JOIN THEM in their space exploration! Let them teach you!
Help them design their own space outfit. Provide the materials they need to make it a fun experience.
NASA astronaut applications remain open for U.S. citizens interested in the chance to go to space. NASA is recruiting astronauts who may have the chance to land on the moon as a part of the forthcoming Artemis program. You have until March 31 to get your applications ready. NASA aims to put boots on the moon again in 2024, as long as the equipment is ready, the funding is there and the current flight schedule holds.
Explore Opportunities allows you, as a citizen scientist or engineer, to submit innovative ideas that could be used on future space exploration missions, or to participate in current missions. Make requests for the Juno spacecraft's JunoCam at Jupiter, create a sensor for a possible Venus rover mission, and (if you're a student) participate in challenges related to NASA's Artemis moon program. These are just a few of the projects listed on the front page you can enjoy.
Spot the Station - a tracking tool allows you to look up your location from anywhere on Earth,. You can find out when, where and how you can see the International Space Station (ISS) pass overhead. Sign up for email or text alerts to know when to stick your nose out the door. The ISS will appear like a bright star or planet slowly passing across the sky. There are currently three crew members on board the station doing science activities for Expedition 62, including NASA's Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan, and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka.
Stargaze (safely). While many cities are asking residents to remain indoors, if you are able to step outside (while practicing safe social distancing), you can see plenty of planets and constellations. Venus will be out in the evenings, while Jupiter, Saturn and Mars are visible at dawn. For sky maps and information about skywatching events, check out NASA's guide, "What's Up: Skywatching Tips from NASA."
Slooh's livestream astronomy lesson with live telescope views from around the world. The webcast was live on March 19th, 2020, and is geared toward K-12 students. Slooh's live lesson is educational, inspiring and soothing. During the program your student will learn how to explore space by following in the footsteps of famous astronomers to make their own personal discoveries using Slooh's Quest curriculum.
"Gravity Assist,"Space is full of mysteries, and NASA spacecraft are working hard to unlock them.
FREENASA e-books allow you to dive in-depth into a lot of space and aerospace topics. Some popular downloads (all on the front page of the link) let you learn about how humans and animals light up the night, a chronicle of the Cassini spacecraft's exploration of Saturn, a book about Hubble's galaxy discoveries, a photo-essay from NASA's Earth science division, , and a discussion of robotic spacecraft that flew across the solar system and into interstellar space. Here are some of NASA's most popular free e-books that you won't want to miss:
"Earth at Night"(Dec. 2019): A gorgeous photo book that features glittering satellite images of Earth's city lights by night. NASA scientists explore "how humans and natural phenomena light up the darkness, and how and why scientists have observed Earth’s nightlights for more than four decades using space borne instruments as well as their own eye.
"The Saturn System Through the Eyes of Cassini" (Sept. 2017): Over a period of 13 years, NASA's Cassini mission captured about 450,000 images of Saturn and its moons. In this ebook you will see some of Cassini's most amazing images and find out what the mission has taught scientists in this photo-filled book.
Teachable Moments: STEM activities
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's "teachable moments" for students, ranging from Pi Day discussions, some information about Mercury's transit across the sun, a retrospective about the Apollo program during the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and citing the ever-popular "Star Wars" links to real-life science.
Space Racers is an animated kids' TV series produced in collaboration with NASA experts. It has released free educational content for students during school closures amid the coronavirus outbreak. Free episodes of the series, as well as educational science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) activities and educator-approved lesson plans are available for download here.
Explore NASA STEM - home activities for students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Includes both pages tailored for students who would like to work on their own and pages for parents who are looking for activities for kids, preteens and teenagers. For example, the K- to 4 page for students has activities on airplanes, weather and climate, stars, Earth and the International Space Station.
Learn STEM with Snoopy in space! The Space Foundation has partnered with the makers of "Peanuts" to create 10 downloadable Snoopy-themed lesson plans for K-8 students. Get the free downloadable PDF files here. The lessons contain projects that utilize commonly available materials as students join Snoopy to learn about constellations, rocketry, microgravity, space suits, and the various missions of the Apollo Program. Working through lesson plans that integrate subjects like Earth and space sciences, mathematics and more, students exercise skills like problem solving, performing investigations, constructing explanations, and information literacy.
The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) has released the lunar and planetARy app that lets smartphone users explore planets, moons and other solar system objects via augmented reality. By pointing your smartphone camera at one of six downloadable graphics, you can see 3D global maps of the moon, Mars, Pluto, Jupiter's moon Europa, Saturn and seven of its moons. Get the app for free from the App Store and Google Play and the download the interactive posters from LPI. (You don't actually need to print the posters; pointing your camera at the digital images on a computer screen works, too.)
Relive history for yourself with the Smithsonian's "Apollo's Moon Shot AR" app. This immersive augmented reality (AR) experience recreates the full timeline of the Apollo missions so you can experience it as if you were there. It is based on the channel's six-part television series, "Apollo's Moon Shot," which follows the journey of the moon landing program. This free app is available for download at the App store and Google Play.
NASA's "Spacecraft AR" app brings the agency's many spacecraft right to your living room, so you can check them out with augmented reality. The educational app, which was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will place interactive 3D models right in front of you. Download it for free from the App Store and Google Play.
Here are some ideas to use during the social distancing period:
Hold a watch party with a group of friends and enjoy the videos and exploration together
Work together via technology to create an online SPACE ADVENTURE for younger siblings and friends
Plan a virtual SPACE CONFERENCE where each member of your friends group will explore a different topic and then you will get together via facetime, zoom, or another digital meeting venue and everyone will have an opportunity to report on what they learned.
Plan an IN-PERSON SPACE Adventure that you can put on for your neighborhood once the need for social distancing has passed.
After the social distancing has ended:
Plan a neighborhood SPACE ADVENTURE to share what you have learned.
Get a group of friends together and plan a SPACE EXPLORATION DAY where you will enjoy a bunch of these adventures together. Be sure to download the apps now while they are free, and be aware of which videos and resources are free only during the social distancing time period.