Common Sense Review
Updated November 2015

NOVA: Space + Flight

Intriguing, advanced video and text extensions for space study
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This module is part of the Website NOVA.
Common Sense Rating 4
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  • Scroll down on the module home page to access a list of relevant media types.
  • Over 20 space- and flight-related articles, some with audio versions, await.
  • The "Tour of the Solar System" is a high-quality MS/HS interactive.
  • Short videos with Caroline Moore make amateur citizen-science attainable.
Christie Thomas
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
How Can Teachers Use It?

NOVA's Space + Flight module is a curated compilation of relevant articles, videos, and other media. Middle and high school kids will be fascinated with NOVA's imagery and information on topics such as black holes. The site's non-video options, however, including the interactives, tend to be text-heavy.

Offerings here will be best used as real-world examples, extensions, or topic spin-offs, as opposed to core content. The 40+ short videos would be great additions to a class website as individual enrichment on, say, Martian weather or space suits. From there, have your students post short summaries of their learning. NOVA's articles (some with an audio component) can also extend class topics. Studying radio waves? Throw in the article "What Does the Earth Sound Like?" Or use "The Star in You" when you cover element creation. Recognize that many kids (even in high school) will need teacher support to fill gaps in background knowledge and to comprehend some advanced vocabulary.


  • Tour of the Solar System: Explore the motion (and scale) of solar system bodies with this mesmerizing and advanced 3-D interactive.
  • Profile of Caroline Moore: This video short, from the "Secret Life of Scientists" project, highlights the teen supernova-discoverer; it's sure to inspire amateur astronomers in your class.
  • Space Elevator Topics: Explore engineering challenges, criteria, trade-offs, and materials science in the context of the proposed 22,000-mile project.
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