Welcome to S.T.E.M. Adventures in Outer Space, a unique high school space–based project–based curriculum! This S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) course is designed to help prepare learners for life beyond high school.

This website has been set up by the teacher to encourage Parental/Guardian involvement and to verify that their child is indeed immersed in a robust project–based learning S.T.E.M. environment.

Students will embark on an imaginary journey into outer space using the Common Core State Standards as it is found in the world of space exploration. Their trek will begin in the Fall semester with projects in aeronautics and aerospace, and will end in the Spring semester with projects in astronautics.

Student versatility will be further enhanced by the inclusion of other learning frameworks, such as creating art, writing technical papers, participating in discussion groups, and coding spreadsheet apps to automate the mathematical process.

Taking S.T.E.M. Education waaaay too seriously


The Fall semester will introduce high schoolers to real spaceflight operations and will end with their own real space station designs.

Stability and Control
Students will use polynomial equations to calculate the center of gravity and other flight characteristics of a Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. The students will be given equations for pitch, roll, and yaw of a DJI drone. They will use Synthetic Division to calculate whether the equation has a “zero.” If the “zero” exists, then that particular axis is in balance.

Suborbital Spaceflight
Students will use quadratic equations to calculate and graph the flight profile of a real–world suborbital spacecraft that operates from a real–world spaceport. They will be given the Main Engine Cut Off (MECO) altitude and velocity of a Blue Origin suborbital spacecraft. They will then calculate the time the spacecraft entered space, the apogee, the time spent in space, and the time spent weightless.

Unpowered Glide Landing
Students will use trigonometric ratios to calculate the flight profile of a real–world suborbital spacecraft that is landing back at a real–world spaceport. The students will be given the distance and vertical angle of a Virgin Galactic suborbital spacecraft performing an unpowered glide landing back to Spaceport America. They will then calculate the spacecraft airspeed, the ground distance, the altitude, the descent rate, the ground speed, and the time until touchdown.

Space Station Design
Students will use simultaneous equations to design a real–world space station using real–world space station modules and launch vehicles. The students will be given the mass, internal pressurized volume, crew capacity, and cost of a Bigelow inflatable space station, as well as the cost and capability of a launch vehicle. They will then calculate the component costs, the launch vehicle costs, total space station mass, total space station pressurized volume, and crew size.

The Spring semester will find the pupils planning and financing an authentic mission to a Near Earth Object (NEO) using real rocketry designs derived from NASA and the private sector.

Hohmann Transfer Orbit
Students will use rational exponents to calculate the required change in velocity and the amount of time needed to transfer from one orbital altitude to a different orbital altitude. They will be given the periapsis and apoapsis orbital altitudes. They will then calculate the periapsis delta v, apoapsis delta v, the delta v budget, the one-way transfer time, and the round-trip transfer time.

Crew Module Engineering Parameters
Students will use linear equations to calculate the engineering parameters of a Crew Module, which is a place where astronauts live and work while operating in space. With just the size of the crew as the input, the students will calculate the dynamic mass of a Boeing crew module designed in 1971, which includes the crew systems, environmental control, life support systems, expendables, and contingency. The overall mass of the crew module is also calculated, as well as the duration of the space mission. 

The Rocket Equation
Students will use exponential and logarithmic equations to calculate the payload capacity of a rocket. The Tsiolkovsky Rocket Equation will be solved for the payload of a Boeing rocket designed in 1971. They will use the delta v budget from Project 5 and crew module mass from Project 6 as part of their calculations.

Return On Investment
Students will use business and finance concepts on a space mission that collects rocks and soil samples from an asteroid or comet to sell so that the space mission can be paid for. They will use Project 5, 6, and 7 to design a space mission to a NEO such as an asteroid or comet. The space mission calls for depositing science equipment on the NEO and collecting and returning soil samples. The inputs to this project are the mission cost (investment) and the selling price of the rocks and soil.


The virtual classroom of Mr. Maness