STREAM Activity: Microgravity Meals
Which microgravity meal will you try?
Activity best for children age 2 and up
Astronauts eat floating food! Microgravity is the situation in which people or objects appear to be weightless (or “floating” in space). Not only does food levitate, but astronauts must also prepare a lot of their meals differently than they do on earth. Water is heavy and astronauts can haul more food if it’s dehydrated, freeze dried, and then vacuum sealed. Some of the food they eat are rehydrated with the water they make in space. Often, astronauts eat just one thing at a time, right after they open the package and add hot or cold water. In this activity, we’re preparing different freeze dried and dehydrated foods – as if we’re astronauts on the space station!
Materials you’ll need:
Your choice of assorted freeze-dried and powdered foods
Water (hot/cold depending on recipe)
What is it about the space station (and traveling to space) that makes astronauts need to eat different foods?
How do you transform a recipe into something that’s edible in microgravity?
For breakfast, astronauts might eat hot cereal with freeze dried fruit by just adding hot water.
For lunch, an astronaut might soup with some powdered fruit juice.
And for dinner, astronauts can just add water to something like mashed potatoes and a dessert – chocolate pudding with freeze dried bananas!
Grown Ups-Are you looking for more ways to extend your child’s learning? Check out these extension activities to build upon today’s STREAM activity!
For more reading related to microgravity and everything space, go check out NASA’s website that’s just for kids!
You can talk to your child about how NASA performs many science experiments in microgravity. It helps NASA learn things that would be hard to learn on Earth. Without gravity, flames from a fire are rounder and crystals grow better. There are many more interesting science connections that you can explore through the website above!