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Life on the International Space Station (ISS)

With your Grade 4 to 6 students, explore how humans live and work on the ISS. Activities demonstrate the effects of microgravity, as well as the technologies that sustain life in the Space environment. Discover what it takes to become an astronaut, and follow the successes of our own Canadian astronauts.

This bilingual Edukit has five modules:

Module 1: Where is Space?

Gain an understanding of the concept of Space, and the distance scale in our solar system.

Module 2: The Space Environment

Explore the realities of life in Space. What do you see? What do you feel? What is the temperature in Space? Discuss and examine what is needed for humans to survive and work in Space. Hands-on activities include building a simple “water-cooled sleeve” to demonstrate the water-cooling system used in modern spacesuits, examining the effect of a vacuum environment on spacesuits, and carrying out a series of tasks while wearing “space gloves” to demonstrate the difficulty of working outside the ISS.

Module 3: So You Want to be an Astronaut?

Examine the lives and career paths of Canadian astronauts, explore the training required to become an astronaut, and look at the positions available on a space flight. Hands-on activities include designing a mission patch and filling out an “astronaut” application form.

Module 4: Explore the International Space Station

Learn about the ISS, with a special emphasis on Canadian contributions, including the Canadarm, Canadarm2 and the new Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (know as the “hand”). The life of astronauts on board (again, with an emphasis on Canadian astronauts) is also examined, with topics ranging from what they eat, to the work they do, to how and where they do their “daily business” — in other words, things of interest to students in Grades 4 to 6! Hands-on activities include building a model space station (templates provided).

Module 5: Microgravity and the Human Body

Examine the concept of microgravity, with a specific focus on how it affects the human body. Hands-on activities include a demonstration of microgravity using a drop frame (provided) and activities based on a “space simulator” (a swivel chair) that help students understand how space sickness can affect an astronaut’s ability to carry out even simple tasks.

Interactive Props

  • Small kitchen vacuum pump
  • Water-cooled spacesuit demonstrator
  • Astronaut application forms
  • Microgravity demonstrator
  • Globe
  • Disorientation maze with prisms, mirrors and blindfolds

Additional Information and Learning Aids

  • Extensive manual for teachers, including background materials, templates and lesson plans for activities
  • Laminated photos and transparencies to support activities
  • Packing guide


  • Sturdy case on wheels
  • Dimensions: 63 cm x 49 cm x 35 cm (25" x 20" x 14")
  • Weight: 20 kg (44 lbs)

Borrowing fee: $129
(One-month rental fee includes shipping and handling)

For more information: