There are lots of awesome people out there who are investing their time and money on collecting the history of spaceflight by actually collecting bits and pieces and things and stuff that has gone into space (and come back). If you want to learn about this hobby, hop over to collectSPACE.com. This hobby, while cool, is expensive and we here at CosmoQuest are more, um, into free. While we don’t know that much about the commercial space memorabilia trade, we do know a fair bit about free opportunities for educators to receive their own piece of science and/or space stuff.
Recognizing that these tangible objects have a surreal ability to evoke emotions, many programs are now giving away their leftover bits to classrooms. Here is just a few that have run across our inbox recently.
Spectroscopic Plates from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Want a chunk of metal that was used to map the universe? You can get one! From their website: “This packet contains an SDSS plate, along with a custom made poster showing the SDSS image of the region of sky the plate was designed for, as well as some selected educational materials, and links to specially designed activities on SDSS Voyages.” Apply through your nearest SDSS Institution or email email@example.com
NASA Space Shuttle tiles for teachers (& more): The Space Shuttle program started in the 1970s and it turns out that over the decades NASA accumulated a lot of stuff. With the shuttle program discontinued, this paraphernalia is now getting sent (for the cost of shipping) to approved schools. From their website, “Special items (such as tiles, food packets, turbine blades) are offered to schools, universities and museums on a first-come, first-served basis as the quantity lasts.” Application information can be found here, and the form is here.
NASA Lunar and Meteorite Disk Program: Rocks may not seem like the most awesome thing in the world, but the awesome factor really goes up when the rocks are space rocks, such as lunar samples and meteorites. The good folks at NASA Johnson have put together selections of space rocks, encased in lucite and labeled, ready for classroom use. To obtain a disk, participate in a free training session and apply online here.
Are we missing awesome opportunities? Let us know! Leave a comment below or drop us a message on social media.