On July 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped out of Eagle, the lunar module, and climbed down the ladder to the lunar surface. Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon -- a historic event broadcast around the world. Science projects about the event deal with the space suit, the moon's surface, weight differences from earth and how the event was broadcast around the world.
Space suits are heavy and restrictive. Those worn by NASA's Apollo 11 astronauts weighed about 81.6 Kilogram. Have students research space suits used in 1969, including things like the thickness of the material. Students should explore how that much material affects movement by putting on a variety of heavyweight clothes, jackets, helmets and gloves. Ask those who "suit up" to perform a variety of tasks, such as climbing up and down a ladder, opening packages, walking and using tools. Keep track of how their movement is restricted. Also, ask students to research the material and functions of the space suit worn by Neil Armstrong when he walked on the moon. Students can design posters showing the different aspects of the space suit with arrows, labels and informational blurbs. Students can show how the design of the space suit allowed Neil Armstrong to survive and function in outer space.
Gravity forces hold everything to the earth, and the pull is strong. Students can measure how high classmates can jump and the arc at which gravity takes hold to return them to earth. The moon's gravity forces are considerably weaker than those on earth. A person who weighs 45.4 Kilogram on earth would weigh a mere 8.3 Kilogram on the moon. From notes taken on jumps, ask students to figure how much higher each student would have jumped on the moon. Chart these difference to show the differences in gravity. Summarise from the science gravity project how the differences helped or hindered Neil Armstrong as he walked on the moon.
Whether a part of the moon's surface is very hot or very cold depends on whether the sun is shining on that surface. The moon doesn't have the temperature variations of earth's more moderate atmosphere. Neil Armstrong found the ground dry and chalky. Have students learn about the moon's surface by asking questions about what caused the extreme temperatures, the chalky surface and the formation of the rocks and researching the answers. Have students find what NASA scientists thought the surface would be like and how it contrasted with what Neil Armstrong experienced.
Students can build a tabletop mock-up of the lunar landing. Have them record the historic model with their cell phones and webcams. Have them research the state of video broadcasting in 1969 and chart the difference between how the Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon was recorded and broadcast with how it might be accomplished today, perhaps incorporating the tools of social media as well. Have them chart the barriers overcome to make the broadcast live.
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