By Sari Custer
A space helmet is vital for any astronaut traveling into space. The helmet can protect the astronaut’s skull from any sudden impacts. Engineering your own helmet takes a lot of time and testing to perfect it. Using an egg to represent an astronaut skull, use your nogging to design and test an egg-cellent helmet for your astronaut!
• 1 egg
• 1 sandwich bag per egg
• 1 water bottle
• 1 pair of scissors
• 1 roll of tape
• Any small materials around the house such as:
• cotton balls
• small pieces of fabric
• tissue paper
• popsicle sticks
Challenge: Can you engineer a safe space helmet to protect your astronaut?
• Make an observation on your egg. Where is it the most fragile? Where should you focus on protecting your astronaut? Place your egg in a sandwich bag and place it to the side.
• The water bottle will be the base for the helmet and can be used however you would like. The egg in the bag has to be placed within the water bottle somehow.
• Present additional materials that can be used as cushioning for your helmet. Feel free to set rules on how materials distribution will work (e.g., you can only pick three additional materials or tape counts as one material).
• Design a plan. Draw and label the needed materials. Once the design plan has been approved, you can start engineering the helmet! (Keep the egg in the bag for easy clean up).
• When complete, determine your testing site with a consistent drop height. You can stand on a chair with your arm straight out.
• Drop the helmet and see what happens! Was your astronaut protected?
Grab your space helmets and head over to Arizona Science Center. Seated under the 60-foot NanoSeam dome in Dorrance Planetarium, you’ll explore billions of stars, and so much more.
Sari Custer is a lifelong science junkie, Chief Curiosity Officer at Arizona Science Center, and mom to daughter Carson, 7. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SariOnScience.