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Space & Satellite in the Classroom

The modern world literally runs on space and satellite technologies – from data networks and TV to close-up pictures and radar portraits of the Earth. Fired by private investment and a new generation of entrepreneurs, the space and satellite business is booming as it lowers launch costs, makes spacecraft smaller and more powerful and delivers internet everywhere. With total sales of over $450 billion, the industry is forecast to grow to more than $1 trillion by 2030.

The Better Satellite World campaign shows why this industry, though still too little known, is indispensable to modern life, through powerful stories and videos that depict space and satellite technologies contributing to the economy, society and sustainability of planet Earth. SSPI has selected these videos from the long-running campaign to help teachers inspire the interest of middle-school and high-school students in the world’s most exciting technology industry and motivate them in the STEM and STEAM studies that will prepare them for it. This teacher’s guide was made possible by Hunter Communications.

For Younger Students

How Space Saves Lives

The people of Earth are launching more than 100 rockets into space every year. A few of them carry astronauts – but most rockets put satellites into orbit to work for us on the ground. And the most impressive thing satellites do – thousands and thousands of times each year – is to save people’s lives.

Is There a Satellite Inside?

On a dark night, the sky above your head is filled with stars: blazing suns so far away they are just tiny points of light. Much closer to Earth, there are other things hiding in plain sight. They are satellites. Every day, you put them to work – at home, at school and on the road – and here’s your chance to guess how.

The Road to Space

Four hundred years ago, Galileo pointed a telescope at the sky and saw the rings surrounding the planet Saturn. He was one of the first to see that the sky wasn’t a black thing decorated with points of light. It was a place where our eyes and minds could travel – and maybe someday, we could, too. From that time on, we have never looked back.

Mission to the Future

When people from planet Earth first went into space, it was the thrill of a lifetime. But we didn’t stay long. The next time people went into space, they traveled much further – and we got even more excited. That’s about to change as we build a future in space.

For Older Students

Valuing What You Bring to the Table

As an engineer for Boeing, Sydney Hamilton has helped design airplanes, rockets, satellites and spacecraft, and led Boeing into 3D-printing their components. But along the way, she has battled self-doubt to convince others that she was up to the job. Sydney Hamilton tells us how she did it.

Caring Too Much to Quit

Tory Bruno runs a rocket company called the United Launch Alliance and led that company to achieve a perfect record for putting spacecraft safely into orbit. The space business often asks its people to do something that seems impossible – and they get it done. Tory Bruno tells us how.

Cellular Ends at Forest Edge

A forest fire is a massive wall of heat and flame. Driven by high winds, it can leap across roads, spin into columns of fire and turn homes into ash. But every year, wildfire fighters walk into the fire to save the forest, the homes and the people. They they do one of the hardest jobs in the world – and satellite helps.

Satellite Keeps the Lights On

In an electric grid, the power going in must always balance the power being used – or gadgets burn out and neighborhoods black out. To keep the balance, utilities synchronize all the equipment across the grid, using GPS, the satellite technology that puts maps on your phone, too.

Path to the Good Life

Without access to the internet, a quality education is hard to come by. In Latin America, a broadband gap denies students the education they need for today’s job. Companies like Hughes are connecting millions of people to the internet with satellite.

The Spacecraft Assembly Line

The business of space is changing as companies begin putting thousands of satellites in orbit. Once built by hands, satellites now come off the assembly line. In a new factory near Cape Canaveral, Florida, OneWeb Satellites operates the most automated assembly lines in the business.

Connecting the Countryside

When people are separated by many miles, the cost of broadband and mobile service is punishingly high. And so, they live cut off from connection. But from high in Earth orbit, no place is too far away to reach. That’s how 700,000 people in Columbia connect to the internet.

Teacher's Guide Materials

How to Present the Videos

  • Preparing the Lesson
  • Teaching the Lesson
  • Activities

Industry Background

  • How it All Started
  • Where Do We Operate in Space?
  • What Do we Do in Space?
  • How Do We Get to Space?
  • What Does the Future Hold?

Careers in Space and Satellite

  1. Engineering Careers
  2. Technical Careers
  3. Business Careers
  4. Military Careers