Federation of Galaxy Explorers  home

Mission Plans

The Federation of Galaxy Explorers draft mission plans (lessons) are a result of the volunteer efforts of dozens of aerospace engineers, astrophysicists, teachers, and artists.  Each year of the Galaxy Explorer Second Class (Grades 6,7,8) contains missions in the following areas: Space Science, Earth Science, Engineering, Rocketry, and Space Citizenship.  Some lessons still require minor refinements.  That work is ongoing.  Each mission has about 20 - 30 minutes of discussion material followed by an activity.  Most mission plans offer a choice of several activities to ensure kids have the same learning experience, regardless of the availability of materials.  Films shown in support of these mission plans are available to Mission Teams on this web page, through Sector Leaders, or school representatives.

We used as a basis for this work, the lesson plans and educational material developed by NASA, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Education, and U.S. Geological Survey.  The Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers and  the Boeing Company contributed lesson plans and educational material on astronomical observing techniques and the International Space Station.  We are grateful to all of the above named organizations for their assistance.  

Grade 6


Mechanical Laws of Flight
How do we apply Newton's Laws to rockets?

Payload Integration
What kinds of payloads do rockets carry?  What effect does the payload have on the rocket? How is it integrated? (Slides in pdf 1.5M)


Solar Power  Solar Power use on the International Space Station.  (Slides)

Space Colony How is a Space Colony constructed? Structures and habitats: shielding, food, logistics, production, in-situ survival strategies.

Earth Science

How do we forecast the weather? What are some of the more complicated tools we use? What is an anemometer? A rain gauge? What is meteorology?

Global Warming
What is Global Warming? What factors are involved? Is the Earth in danger? What is temperature inversion? How can we take care of the Earth?

Space Citizenship

History of Manned Space Flight The history of the cold war space race.  Includes a great card game to illustrate the Race for Space.  

Space Business  Understand the business of commercial space ventures and their role in society: remote sensing, telecommunications, Position, Navigation, Timing, and tourism. (Slides in pdf)

Space Science

Living with the Sun  What is the Sun?  What is its effect on earth?  

Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence Life in the Universe?  How about our galaxy? What would do when/if we make contact?  How can we make first contact?  What role can you play?

Grade 7


Rocket Propulsion
What types of fuel do we use with rocket propulsion? What is the difference in use and application? What are the dangers in usage? NASA Video tape in VHS format 8:00. order here

Rocket Staging  An understanding of rocket stages and how greater altitudes can be reached by using staging.


Robotics  How are robots used to explore space?  How can they enhance human efforts? What factors influence design?  What promise does future technology hold?

Life Support Systems
What do humans need to survive in different environments in Outer Space? Consider power, air and water filtration systems.  Emphasis on water purification.

Earth Science

Rocks and Minerals
An understanding of how rocks and minerals are formed. What are the processes involved? What are the different types of rock formations?  How does the study of rocks help us to understand the Earth itself?

The Global Positioning System
What is this system and how does it work? How is this system used to improve lives?  How can this system be used to improve our awareness of our planet?

Space Citizenship

Space and the Media A look at how scientific and Space endeavors are portrayed in the Media.  How should we educate the citizenry through the information mediums?

Careers in Space
An overview of the Space industry and insight into the types of careers available.

Space Science

Forces of the Universe   Strong and weak nuclear Electro mag. gravity, dark energy

Once Upon a Big Bang The evolution and future of the universe.

Grade 8


Advanced Model Rocketry
Build advanced model rocketry.  Apply rocket staging and scientific experiment.

Altitude Tracking
What is altitude tracking? Why is it important? Mathematical concepts Build model basic rocketry basic.  Learn National Association of Rocketry safety standards.


Radio Communications  How does the Space Program use Communication systems?  What impact does time delay have? Wave propagation. (Slides in pdf)

Deep Space Communications Network  What is NASA's deep space communications network?  How is it used to communicate with spacecraft?  

Earth Science

Remote Sensing
What is Remote Sensing? How do we use it to sense and monitor the environment? An understanding of the use of satellite and airborne remote sensing technology. (slides in pdf) (1M)

Imagery Analysis
An introduction to Imaging. How do we use images from EarthKam (or space and aircraft) to give us detailed analysis of the Earth?

Space Citizenship

Philosophy of Space Exploration  Investigation into why humanity seeks to explore space. Review of history.  What is our place in the universe?  

Space Agencies.  A study of the history of European, Russian, and other space agencies; their respective roles in expanding humanity's knowledge of the cosmos.

Space Science

Learn to Observe  Learn to observe the solar system and much more.  Use planetary observational techniques, scientific notation, Universal Time, etc.

Life Cycle of a Star How stars form and die. The types of stars and their characteristics. Learn the characteristics of stars and build a spectrograph to analyze light.