Typically completed by 5-11 year olds, CREST Star and SuperStar challenges relate to everyday experiences. Children complete eight activities to gain a CREST Award, with each activity taking between 45 minutes and one hour to complete.
The activities are designed to be easy-to-run and low-cost. You don’t need to be a teacher, have a science background or have access to specialist equipment to run them. The packs contain helpful hints and tips for you to use, explaining the scientific themes and offering guidance on conversation topics for your children.
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Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut BUILDING AN ASTRONAUT “CORE” Learning Objectives Students will: perform the Commander Crunch and Pilot Plank to improve abdominal and back muscle strength; and record observations about improvements in core muscle strength during this physical experience in the Mission Journal. Introduction Did you know astronauts began training for missions as infants? As an infant, your first job in motor control was to stabilize your core. You needed a strong upper body to keep yourself sitting up. As an infant, even rolling from your back onto your belly required strength. Astronauts, just like dancers and athletes, rely on their core strength every day. Why is it important to have a strong core? Core strength is important because it powers all of your movements. For example, the abdomen and back muscles work together to support the spine when you sit, stand, bend over, pick things up, and exercise. It’s important to your physical well-being as a child and as an adult to have strong core muscles. Astronauts must have strong core muscles in order to move in the microgravity environment of space. These core muscles allow astronauts to move equipment and supplies around the International Space Station (ISS) and perform Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) known to most of us as spacewalks. During an EVA, astronauts are working in their spacesuits for 6 or more hours. They must be able to move easily inside the suit as they twist, bend, and lift objects to build and repair the ISS. EVAs are physically demanding on an astronaut’s body. Having a strong core will aid the astronaut in completing the EVAs successfully. It is important for astronauts on the ISS to have a workout regimen that helps keep core muscles strong and their bones healthy. This is critical for ISS crew members because their bodies are experiencing different conditions in space than on Earth. Humans on Earth are always moving against the force of gravity, their muscles and bones support their body. In the microgravity environment of space, the body does not need the support of the muscles and bones since there is no force of gravity. Due to lack of use the bones and muscles become weaker. To keep their muscles and bones physically fit during their stay in space, astronauts must follow an exercise program. Exercise is one thing astronauts can do to prevent the body from becoming weak. This is especially important while an astronaut is in space for long duration missions, as well as when they return to Earth. Astronauts who travel to the ISS and stay for several months work out a minimum of six days a week for at least two hours a day. Specialized equipment has been designed by NASA and is used by the crews to exercise on the ISS. Two of these are the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) and the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, or COLBERT. For strength training, astronauts on the ISS using the ARED can experience similar effects to using weights here on Earth. Each astronaut has a customized work out on the ARED to exercise the upper and lower body. www.trainlikeanastronaut.org Building an Astronaut “Core” – Educator Guide 1/7