Middle School Programs

boy reading NYCCSSE offers both space and aviation experiences for middle school students. Each experience is two hours long. Classes can come for one program (a half day) or combine two programs (a full day).


Space Mission: Comet (6th Grade)

In this simulated space mission, students learn to work as astronauts onboard our spacecraft and Flight Controllers in Mission Control as they conduct scientific experiments, maintain safe living conditions and search the starfields in our solar system to locate and study a comet.

Space Mission: Mars (7th and 8th Grade)

After nine months in space, student astronauts are on final approach to Mars, where they will take the role of student Flight Controllers at Mars’ Mission Control. Teams must work together to track the weather on Mars, determine the best landing area, and make sure their mission is a success.

Space Mission: Earth Odyssey (8th grade)

Student astronauts onboard the Space Station and Flight Controllers in Mission Control use remote sensing to collect data about how Earth systems are being affected by human activity such as changes in land use and increases in carbon dioxide levels. This space mission focuses on climate change, with content aligned with the Human Impact on the Environment unit on the Grade 8 NYC Science Scope & Sequence and Regents Earth Science.

Aeronautics: Weather

Why can it be dangerous to fly when the weather is bad? Students learn the basics of airplane flight and explore how weather affects flight by using a wind tunnel, model airplanes, and flight simulators.

A 6th grade performance task can be implemented with this program. Classroom work is required both before and after the visit to the Center. Click here to find out more.

Aeronautics: Forces and Motion

How do airplanes use the air we breathe to lift them off the ground? Have your students find out as they learn the basics of airplane flight and explore the four forces on an airplane by using flight simulators, a wind tunnel and model airplanes. Students should already have a basic understanding of force diagrams before coming for this program.

Toys in Space

Is it possible to jump rope in space? Students discover how objects behave in zero-G. After experiencing how toys work on Earth, students predict how they will behave in space and then observe astronauts using the same toys. We recommend combining this program with a Challenger mission to make a full day space experience. 

Astronaut or Pilot Training Programs (12:1 and 12:1:1)

NYCCSSE is an experiential, hands-on learning center and our programs are adaptable to most special needs populations. Our facility is wheelchair accessible. It should be noted that some of our programs do have bright flashing lights and loud sounds.

Astronaut Training and Aviation Training Programs are specifically geared towards 12:1 and 12:1:1 populations. We work with individual teachers to create a program that is just right for their students. Contact Peter Giles at pgiles@schools.nyc.gov or 212-608-6164 (ext. 111) for more information.