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To Space and Back

Homeschool Program

Homeschool workshops are offered October through May on the second Thursday of the month from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. You are welcome to just participate in individual sessions or to enroll for the entire series. Homeschool workshops are offered at two levels: Level 1 (for Grades 1-4) covers the basics; Level 2 (for Grades 5-8) goes into greater depth.

Note: We have not scheduled Level 3 workshops (Grades 9-12) for the 2015/2016 season; however, if five or more students are interested in a Level 3 offering, with two weeks notice we can arrange a Level 3 session for each of these workshops.

Suggested grade levels

Level 1: Grades 1-4
Level 2: Grades 5-7
Level 3: Grades 8-12


  • $15 per student
  • $10 for each additional student in the same family
  • Chaperones are free
  • Homeschool workshops do not include visiting the exhibits or a planetarium show. Participants are invited to explore the museum the day of the workshop, before its start, at a reduced admission rate.

The 2015-16 home school program will explore the history of and science behind space exploration. Join us to learn more about how NASA launched our first rockets into space and where the space program is taking us in the future.

October 8, 2015: Present missions (2001-the present)

In this session, learn about current space exploration missions and how they are expanding our understanding of our universe. Find out what we've learned from space probes like New Horizons and Dawn about far away objects in our solar system and where these probes are headed next. Attendees of this session will also learn about the challenges and benefits of using robots to explore Mars and beyond!

Key STEM concepts covered:
L1: planet classification, geology of Pluto and Ceres, introductory robotics
L2: planet classification, Kuyper belt object, geology of Pluto and Ceres, robotic exploration of space

Optional planetarium show: Tonight's Sky

November 12, 2015: Early rocketry and flight (pre-1950)

The journey to space has a long history. In this session, trace the earliest steps of scientists and engineers as they developed our first rockets. Attendees will explore the science of motion and projectiles as they design and construct their own planes and rockets to launch.

Key STEM concepts covered:
L1: Newton's laws of motion, projectile motion, launch propulsion
L2: Newton's laws of motion, aerodynamics, key concepts of rocket design

Optional planetarium show: TBD

December 10, 2015: Start of the Space Race (1957-1962)

The race to be first to put a man in outer space was full of exciting advances in rocket design and space-related technology. In this session, learn about the challenges engineers faced and overcame to successfully put satellites and humans, into orbit for the first time in history.

Key STEM concepts covered:
L1: gravity and G-force, low earth orbit, short term impact of space travel on human health
L2: gravity and G-force, orbital velocity, chemistry of rocket fuels and propellents, physics of engines

Optional planetarium show: Dawn of the Space Age

January 14, 2016: Journey to the Moon (1962-1972)

The race to space didn't end with putting humans into orbit! As scientists and engineers set their eyes on the moon, new challenges, like required escape velocity and re-launch from extraterrestrial regions, had to be overcome. In this session, learn about the advances in rocket design required to visit the Moon and about the geology of our nearest neighbor!

Key concepts covered:
L1: Escape velocity, thrust, Moon phases and geology
L2: orbital and escape velocity (and how it's calculated), Moon geology

Optional planetarium show: Back to the Moon for Good

February 11, 2016: Unmanned Missions (1972-1980)

Successful Moon missions fueled our curiosity to explore deeper into our solar system. Unmanned space probes, like the Mariner, Viking and Voyager programs, expanded our knowledge of Mercury, Venus, Mars and the outer regions of the solar system. In this session, learn about the discoveries made by these probes and how they changed our understanding of the planets in our solar system!

Key concepts covered:
L1: planetary orbits, geology of near-Earth planets, composition and chemistry of gas giant planets
L2: L1 concepts plus determination of flight paths, utilizing "gravity assist"

Optional planetarium show: Family of the Sun

March 10, 2016: Era of the Orbiter (1980-2011)

The Space Transportation System (STS), also known as "The Shuttle", conducted 135 missions during its 30 year history. During this time, it served as a work horse for bringing large loads, like satellites and pieces of Mir and the International Space Station, into orbit. In this session, learn about the unique design of this semi-reusable space craft and about some of its special missions during its long career.

Key concepts covered:
L1: shuttle design concepts, challenges of extravehicular work and the role of robotics
L2: shuttle design concepts, development and chemistry of hybrid rockets fuels

Optional planetarium show: To Space and Back

April 14, 2016: Living and Working in Low Earth orbit (1990-2000)

The Space Transportation System (STS, see March session) made it possible to launch large payloads into space, allowing the construction of large space projects like the International Space Station (ISS) and the Hubble Space telescope. In this session, learn the basics of telescope design and use and the modifications needed for telescopes to work in space, as well as the benefits to using space telescopes to observe distant features in our universe. This session will also cover how astronauts live and work on the ISS.

Key concepts covered:
L1: introductory optics, basic telescope design and use, impact of living in space on human health
L2: impact of vacuum on humans, introductory optics, electromagnetic (EM) spectrum, basic telescope design and use, tools for observing entire EM spectrum

Optional planetarium show: The Amazing Telescope

May 12, 2016: Our Future in Space (2020 and beyond)

What does the future of space exploration look like? In this session, explore the possibility of manned missions to Mars. Attendees will also learn about new planets discovered in other galaxies and the tools astronomers are using to probe regions of space far beyond the reaches of our own solar system.

Key concepts covered:
L1: challenges of living in space, design of Orion Multi-Purpose Vehicle (and other potential craft), long term space travel, exoplanets, radio telescopes
L2: L1 concepts plus ion and nuclear rockets, power generation in space

Optional planetarium show: Extreme Planets

homeschool workshop homeschool workshop

Homeschool parents! You can further your education too with our educator workshops.

Discover Summer Camps - register today!
Contact Us

2 Institute Drive
Concord, NH 03301
603.271.7832 (fax)

Public Hours:

Fri, Sat, Sun:
10:30 AM - 4 PM

1st Friday of the month: 6:30 - 9 PM

Open Columbus Day and Veteran's Day

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