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Teacher's Guide: Hints for the Active Learning Questions


  1. Earthly events to include in the timeline include the U-2 Incident, the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.

  2. Students may want to consult the interactive timeline Shock Year: 1968 on the American Experience: RFK Web site for information.


  1. You may want to extend the activity through the current calendar year.

  2. Keep in mind that in space, meals are eaten in conditions of zero gravity. According to NASA's Food for Flight Web site, Apollo 8 was the first mission in which astronauts used eating utensils. In earlier missions, food was consumed through a straw or tube or was eaten by hand.


  1. Groups should conduct research to find data that would strengthen their argument. For example, a group arguing that the funds should be spent on education might find out how U.S. students are performing on standardized tests in comparison to students from other countries. A group arguing that the funds should be spent on the Mars mission should consult the NASA Web site on this initiative.

  2. Before starting this activity, you might ask students why space exploration has been dominated by governments rather than private individuals or companies, as well as the potential benefits or drawbacks that private enterprise could bring to space exploration.


  1. Students should note that the moon's orbit around Earth is elliptical, not circular, so the distance between the moon and Earth varies depending on where the moon is in its orbit.

  2. Students should pay attention to the moon's size, shape, and color, the texture of its surface, the amount of light it reflects, and its position in the night sky. For extra credit, students could research the origin and meaning of popular phrases such as "harvest moon" or "once in a blue moon," or myths related to the moon, such as the belief that it is made of cheese or the legend of the "werewolf."

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Race to the Moon American Experience

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