Space Lessons

Interested in resources to teach students about the U.S. Space Program and outer space? Check out the U.S. Mint’s collection of free education resources for space exploration, astronomy, and other STEM-related fields.

Lesson Plans

Check out our list of space, astronomy, and STEM-related lesson plans for grades K-12:

Pioneers in Space (Grades K-1)
Students will learn the meaning of the word “pioneer” and will be introduced to some aviation pioneers who came from Ohio. The students will also preview and listen to an age-appropriate text relating to the design of the Ohio quarter reverse.

Discovery, Ship to Shuttle (Grades 2-3)
Students will explain the meaning of discovery.

It’s All in the Pattern (Grades 2-3)
Students will understand the meaning of the Zia Sun symbol. Students will understand that the Earth’s title and movement around the sun causes the seasons.

Discovering Native American Contributions to the U.S. Space Program (Grades 3-8)
Students will learn about the lives of Native Americans who have made significant impacts to the U.S. Space Program and other STEM fields, including Mary Golda Ross and John Herrington. Students will make predictions about coin elements, research Native American historical figures, and create a biography and/or social media profile to represent their accomplishments.

Many Happy Returns (Grade 4)
Students will make connections between the past and the present and compare the Journey of Lewis and Clark with the space flight of Apollo 11. Students will be able to sequence events in history using a timeline. Students will be able to use the writing process to write a persuasive essay.

Distinguished Discoveries (Grades 4-6)
Students will analyze the importance of selected discoveries. Students will then research the history and impact of historical discoveries, using this information to compare and contrast two.

Sunny Symbols (Grades 4-6)
Students will understand the meaning of the Zia Sun symbol on the quarter. Students will investigate and understand the relationships among the Earth, Moon, and Sun, with particular emphasis on the Sun. Students will understand the motions of the Sun; the effects of the Sun on the Earth and the Moon; the relative size, position, age, and makeup of the Sun; and historical contributions in understanding the Sun and our Solar System.

Amazing Auroras (Grades 7-8)
Starting with the Voyageurs National Park Quarter, students will explain how the Northern Lights are formed.

Exploration Across Eras (Grades 9-12)
Students will understand the chronology of events related to the Corps of Discovery and the United States space program of the 1960s. Students will compare the Corps of Discovery’s journey with the space exploration program, including the impact of individuals, technology, presidential leadership, and the influence of international affairs. Students will conduct research using the Internet and other sources. Students will compose a persuasive essay, including a thesis statement and a bibliography. Students will participate in the writing process, including taking notes, outlining, composing first and final drafts, and peer editing.

Coins in Space Videos

On January 1, 2019, the NASA spacecraft New Horizons transmitted an image of Ultima Thule, the farthest space object ever seen by humans. The discovery of the object, which is more than four billion miles away from Earth, sheds light into the processes that built the planets 4.5 billion years ago. But did you know that two United States coins are along for the ride?

When New Horizons launched in 2006, two state quarters, Florida and Maryland, were selected to accompany the spacecraft on its mission. Learn more about their journey in our Coins in Space videos.

Space Supply Game

space supply game - cartoon spaceship, asteroid, space debris in the sky

Can’t get enough of outer space? Check out our space-themed game, Space Supply. It’s an arcade-inspired game where you race against the clock to deliver supplies to space colonies from a space shuttle, while dodging asteroids, space debris, laser beams, and UFOs.


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