Space Hazards: Activity – Engineering A2 card front - featured image

Space Hazards: Activity – Engineering A2

Activity Timing

5 min. Duo Update
10 min. Set the Stage
20 min. Activity
10 min. Reflect

45 min. Total

Prep Reminder

Check the Educator Guide for detailed materials prep information. Here a couple of other key reminders:

  • It will take about 30 minutes to prepare for this activity
  • Post the EDP Poster
  • Get the Duo Message ready
  • Transcribe Testing Results
  • Set up the Materials Table
  • Cut two model hands (pp. 41, guide)
  • Set aside 2 bags for demo
  • Review Cold Test Procedure (pp. 40, guide)
  • Set up testing stations (6 cups ice, 10 cups water, digital thermometers, cardboard hands, stop watches).

Key Terms

Insulator: A material that does not allow heat to move through it quickly

Space Hazards FAQ's

Space Hazards Vocab List

EDP Steps Used In This Activity



Youth explore how well different materials insulate against cold.

Quick Tips

Group management strategies:

  • Make bold labels for materials table
  • Make bags of materials for each group rather than a materials table
  • Rotate groups through stations
  • Designate a volunteer to help other groups with testing and reset
  • Use the cardboard model hand so that your warm-blooded hand does not affect the thermometer reading.

Duo Message Audio File

Play this file to introduce the activity to youth.

Videos Related to this Activity

Science Snippet: Build your content knowledge to help answer youth's questions.

End of Activity Engineering Reflection

Today we asked which materials are better at insulating against the cold. We tested and compared the results to answer our question.

Key Take Away

We can identify which materials to use in making a glove that protects against cold.

Did you know?

Outside the space station temperatures are 120C (250F) in the sun, and -155C (-250F) in the shade. Space suits have water circulating through to help with the extreme temperatures.