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ACTIVITY 5.2.2 Young People and Science

European Commission Science in Society program



My house on the moon

Original design team: Twente University

Intended student ages: 10-12 years old

Languages of the LE: English, Dutch

Length of the enactment: Six, 90-minute lessons

Topics covered: Synthetic ecosystems, Ecology, Human health, Warmth isolation, Water recycling, Durable foods, Photosynthesis

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Scenario: Astronaut Neil has just returned from a short-lived moon mission that was aimed to explore ways for astronauts to live self-reliantly for an extended period of time on the moon. Unfortunately, Neil and his crew failed. The particular moon house that they had designed and used, did not meet the required standards: within a few days, all water, food, and oxygen had run out. Also, it was extremely cold. This is why the help of students is called for, to help redesign this flawed moon house so that Neil and his astronauts will successfully complete their next moon mission. What would a self-reliant house for astronauts on the moon look like?

Teacher's guide: Download the Dutch and English versions of the teacher's guide. 

Classroom enactments: The try-out of the lessons was conducted in three sixth grade classrooms from elementary schools. The lessons in these classrooms were supervised by teacher trainees (honours class) in their final year of schooling. The teacher trainees conducted observations and interviewed students. In addition, they filled in blogs in which they reflected on the lessons. From the students we recorded data so that we could analyze the development of domain knowledge (including the change in the kinds of questions that were asked), inquiry approach, and motivation (e.g., self-efficacy beliefs). Positive and significant effects on knowledge and motivational development were found.

Contact information:

  • Dr. Hans van der Meij, Lecturer, e-mail address
  • Link to the LWG website.
  • Download a one-page leaflet here.
  • Interested Dutch teachers can find project information here.


  • Please cite the teacher's guide as: Van der Meij, H., Post, T., Velthorst, G., Barnhoorn, H. A., & Marell, J. (2011). My house on the moon. [Teacher manual]. Retrieved from http://www.coreflect.org.
  • Please cite the learning environment as: Van der Meij, H., Post, T., Velthorst, G., & Marell, J. (2009). My house on the moon. [Computer software]. The Netherlands: University of Twente. Retrieved from http://www.coreflect.org.
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