Come In, Mission Control


Create your own instrument panels for an imaginary spacecraft and explore the ways scientists collect data about the universe.


1. Explore resources to discover methods space scientists use to investigate mysteries of the universe. Search newspapers, news magazines, and Web sites for current information on NASA missions and programs. Share information with the group.

2. Create an imaginary space shuttle or mission control instrument panel with a recycled cereal box. Use Crayola® Scissors to cut down the sides of one flat face of the box so it is open to the inside.

3. Cover the inside and outside of the box with construction paper. Attach with a Crayola Glue Stick.

4. Use Crayola Metallic FX Crayons to draw a view finder with an image of space on the upright side. Add controls and dials made from assorted craft materials such as buttons, chenille sticks, craft sticks, and aluminum foil. Be creative. Invent new tools for collecting data in your space shuttle, or try to make it realistic. Add glittering buttons and lights with Crayola Glitter Glue.

5. Work with a partner to decide on what your space mission will investigate. Sit across from each other behind your control panels and simulate a real data-gathering mission, talking back and forth about the expedition.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Glitter Glue— WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD—Small parts. Not for children under 3 years. Not for use on skin.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

Wood—By its nature, wood is rough and may contain splinters or sharp points


  • Teachers can informally assess understanding of space exploration methods by circulating among students while they role play. Ask questions about data collection methods and current topics in space science.
  • Students write fictional mission reports about discovering a new rock that can be made into a metallic crayon color. Ask children to include two data collection methods they've learned about as they explain how the new crayon color was discovered, studied, and named.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Metallic FX Crayons
  • Glue Sticks
  • Glitter Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Construction Paper
household supplies
  • chenille sticks (optional)
  • buttons (optional)
  • craft sticks (optional)
  • aluminum foil (optional)
  • recycled cereal boxes



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Language Arts
  • Science
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children explore various ways in which scientists collect and generate data about our universe.

  • Children create 3-dimensional simulations of space shuttle or mission control instrument panels.

  • Students work in pairs to write and dramatize a space mission.


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