Have you ever wanted to build a satellite? Now’s your chance! Use our worksheet to build your very own TDRS spacecraft. When you’re done, share your work with us by tagging us on Twitter – our handle is @NASA_TDRS.
ESC is dedicated to providing opportunities for science, technology, engineering, art and math learning opportunities to students worldwide. This page is where you can find our educational activities related to space communications, technology development and much more. Check back often for updates.
The digital TDRS Builder Game gives students, aged fifth grade and up, the opportunity not only to build their own Tracking and Data Relay Satellite on a high-tech interface, but to learn about each component that helps TDRS accomplish its mission of delivering science, spacecraft data and even astronaut communications to the ground effectively and efficiently. Learning about TDRS’s many parts, from single-access antennas to solar arrays, will be a great opportunity for students to engage with STEM concepts.
These coloring sheets will stimulate students’ imaginations as they become familiar with satellites and dream of adventures to space. The following sheets are available in PDF form and can be easily printed on standard 8 ½ by 11 inch paper. All you need are coloring pencils or crayons!
Have you ever tried to talk to someone far away? It’s difficult to communicate without yelling, and, at some distances, even yelling can’t be heard. Before there were wireless phones or cell phones, all phones were connected by a wire that helped a person’s voice carry over distances. In this activity, learn the basics of communication with the simplest of materials – two cups, a pushpin, some string and two paper clips!
Tracking and Data Relay Satellites make continuous communications with astronauts and space missions possible. Ignite students’ imaginations with the opportunity to build their own communications satellite with the paper model sheets, tape and pipe cleaners. The models are available both in color and in black-and-white, for those students who would rather color their own TDRS.
Before space-based communications, NASA spacecraft could only communicate with Earth when they could see an antenna on the ground. When they passed out of view of the antenna, communications had to stop. Many NASA missions that don’t require 24/7 communications still communicate this way with ESC’s Near Earth Network. Complete this activity to gain a better understanding of how line-of-sight communications work.
This coloring book will guide young students through the work of NASA’s Search and Rescue office. They will learn, through poetry and art, about NASA-developed technologies that aid in satellite-aided search and rescue efforts. The linked PDF can be easily printed on standard 8 ½ by 11 inch paper. Grab some crayons and get to work!
In this activity, students use everyday metal objects and string to feel sound waves moving through different substances, or mediums. The activity demonstrates vibrations interacting with matter, building fundamentals for further learning about waves, energy and communications.
This scalable activity teaches magnetism at various learning levels and contextualizes the content through a space communications lens. Students learn about space navigation through orienteering and how interactions between space weather and Earth’s magnetic field can impact communications.
This activity challenges students to convey data from one side of a room to another. The task starts easy, but gets progressively harder as restrictions are added. The activity shows the needs and constraints of space communications while stretching the engineering imagination of participants.