Space Food Program Reflection

Hello! I ran the Space Food activity at my Library last month and thought I would share my presentation and planning of the program in hopes that someone finds it helpful in their future planning. :slight_smile:

For context I am in a downtown library and I run a STEAM Lab. I am a PLIX creative ambassador, so thank you to PLIX for the supplies! I highly suggest applying for their ambassador program, it has been wonderful.

The program was during our spring break, we had 11 students in 3-12th grade participate. For set up we put our tables facing the smartboard we have so students could watch the quick presentation I made. Then we had all of our materials on a large table and tools on a bookshelf we have. I kept some of the sharper tools and the hot glue by my teacher area of the room and explained to students that they are welcome to use them, they just need to get them from me before hand since they had a bit more safety procedures to talk about. You can see my lesson plan below. The program was 1.5 hours, we did the design challenge as well as made space pudding so I timed out when would be good to switch gears.

I went through this presentation and we all had a conversation about dining in space so that we could start thinking about our designs. And I had them read through the considerations sheet and zine. Link to presentation:

Before they started I showed them my example (unfortunately forgot to take a picture, it was a flavornator that had a dial to choose sweet, salty, sour or savory flavor gel) I did make a note to remind the kids that we were prototyping, so there invention did not have to fully work they just needed to come up with an initial design. Then I let the kids create! They were challenged to design a kitchen tool or appliance that makes it easier for astronauts to cook of dine on the ISS.

Some students wanted to draw out their design while some wanted to just dive in. I encouraged to think about what they will build before doing so.

Here is one student’s β€œcooked flavor maker” design sketch.
This student wanted to create a way for astronauts to eat something messy like spaghetti without having to worry about microgravity so she created a chamber for you to put your food in and put your mouth and arms in.
Another flavornator kind of design.
This was a similar food chamber kind of idea.
Everyone picking out what materials they would use. For materials I used PLIX’s suggestions as well as carboard, recyclables, some cool trash like 3D printer filament cores. For tools we have the Makedo cardboard tools, canary cutters, klever cutters, scissors, colorful tape, and I had a seperate hot glue table by my teacher podium. (Several of the kids used the hot glue after a safety talk and me standing with them while they did it and yay no burns!)

I was impressed with what the kids came up with and they really enjoyed it! We ended the program by making space pudding (It’s just pudding in a ziploc with powdered milk and water) They loved the snack and it was a nice way to end the program. Here is the recipe for the space pudding, my coworker tried a couple recipes and found this ratio worked best.

Overall the program was a success and I just want to thank PLIX for the support! If anyone has any questions I am happy to answer. :slightly_smiling_face:

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