Connecting Campers to the Moon

July 1, 2019
Christine Shupla
NASA Apollo Anniversary graphic

On July 20, 1969, an estimated 530 million people watched Neil Armstrong's televised image and heard his voice describe the event as he took " . . . one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” NASA is now pushing the boundaries of human exploration forward to the moon and on to Mars. NASA is working to establish a permanent human presence on the moon within the next decade.

This summer, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the first human landing on the moon. There are a variety of ways to engage campers in lunar exploration!

Observe the Moon’s Phases

Campers have an opportunity to check out the moon’s phase and watch it change over the course of their camp. In Loony Lunar Phases, campers can recreate the moon’s phases with cookies or draw them in on a calendar.

NASA Moon Phase Activity

Design a Lander

In this engineering design challenge, campers can design and build a shock-absorbing system that will protect two "astronauts" when they land. Suggested activity modifications: substitute small paper plates for the cardboard and ping-pong balls for the marshmallow astronauts to make the designs more challenging.

NASA Lander Activity

Model a Crater 

Create impact craters like those on the Moon, using tubs of sand, flour, cocoa and marbles, and examine their features.

NASA crater activity

Join the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions and the future of lunar exploration! There are a variety of websites with more information, resources, and suggestions.

Christine Shupla leads the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Education and Public Engagement team. She holds a bachelor of arts in astronomy from the University of Texas in Austin, and a master of arts in curriculum & instruction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Images of activities courtesy of the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Apollo 50th graphic courtesy of NASA