1. Ask students if they had ever considered the possibility of making a space flight. Would they do it if they could? Would any like to become an astronaut?
2. Divide the class into several small groups. One group should be assigned the task of researching the history of women in aviation and space exploration (sites 1 and 2, below). From this information, members of this group should select what they consider to be the most important items to place on their own timeline--which should be made so that it can be displayed in the classroom for all to see.
3. Members of the other groups should each select one women from the lists of former and active astronauts, research her biography, and write short essays about her background, schooling, degrees, and contributions to the space program (the site called "American Female Astronauts" gives a complete list, but the biographies on the other two sites are better).
4. Students should share their research, then discussing what kinds of education and other kinds of preparation are necessary to become an astronaut.
5. Ask students, again, if anyone would like to become an astronaut.
Timeline: Women in Space
Women in Space Firsts
American Female Astronauts
This lesson was developed by Averil McClelland, Kent State University.