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NASA's Space Place
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that NASA's Space Place is a site with interactive games, projects, and facts about space and Earth science. The space-related questions kids submit to the site are sent via Formspring, a Q&A website that launches in a separate window but doesn't require registration. (We don't recommend that young kids register on the site because of inappropriate content, but using the Space Place form without registering is safe. If you do register, the site requires you to enter a username, password, email address, and birthday -- or you can sign in using a Facebook account.)
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
NASA's Space Place -- started in 1998 by NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology and International Technology and Engineering Education Association -- is an educational outreach project with dozens of activities. Each is marked as something elementary age kids can play, explore, or do. Content is grouped into five sections: the sun, Earth, solar system, space, and people and technology. An additional parents and educators tab offers classroom activities, printable posters, and other space-related science examples.
Is it any good?
NASA'S SPACE PLACE was started in 1998 as an education and public outreach project for elementary-school-age kids and is a joint effort from NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology and International Technology and Engineering Education Association.
Split into sections on the sun, solar system, and other space-related subject matter, each activity and item is clearly marked as something kids can explore, do, or play. The games, which illustrate principles such as how a black hole works, are interesting and informative. Younger kids may be a little confused by the sometimes lengthy directions, but there are enough galaxy-related craft ideas, images of the sun, and other items on NASA's Space Place to keep kids occupied, even if they aren't able to read yet.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about safety concerns for sites like this that encourage you to like them on Facebook or access Facebook using their site. What does it mean when you click over to Facebook from another site and are asked to allow access to your profile info?
Families can also talk about what science is, and why it's fun to learn about.
- Subjects: Science: astronomy, physics, weather
Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, reading
Math: counting, geometry, patterns
- Skills: Self-Direction: academic development
Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, applying information, problem solving, solving puzzles
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
- Genre: Educational
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free