From Dream to Discovery: Inside NASA

30 minutes

GPS: Grade 8
GEHMS: Grades 4+

Ages 8+

Educator Guide


NGSS Alignment

3-5-ETS1-1, 3

MS-ETS1-2, 3, 4


Fulldome Show

Immerse yourself in the adventure and extremes of spacecraft engineering in From Dream To Discovery: Inside NASA.  This fascinating 30-minute show about space engineering begins with an exploration of the Hubble Space Telescope, with its many intricate parts that must work together to help this observatory achieve great things.

From there, we explore the James Webb Space Telescope, currently under construction and testing at NASA.

Finally, the show explores the New Horizons mission to Pluto, revealing the engineering challenges the mission has faced in its 10-year headlong rush to a distant and fascinating world.

How do engineers plan for the extreme environments a spacecraft must endure? Where do they test their work?

To answer those questions, From Dream To Discovery: Inside NASA takes us to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Integration and Testing facility, where space missions get tested. It shows how, from design to creation to launch, engineering is an exciting and fundamental process in space exploration. Finally, we witness a launch, the next step for a mission as it leaps up through Earth's gravity well.

From Dream To Discovery: Inside NASA is a fascinating look at how humans take the impossible and make it reality. It's a great way to introduce your audiences to the "right stuff" it takes to explore space.

Education Modules

After the show, using a series of live and interactive video clips, students will explore the mechanics of gravity assists, momentum and how engineers used these properties with the New Horizons mission to Pluto, missions to Mars and other planets of the Solar System. Modules include:

Design a Mission

Students will explore some of the basic steps in the engineering design process taking an active role in selecting a mission and making spacecraft design choices and later learn whether their mission choices led to failure or success.  
Educator Guide

Gravity and Space Travel

This series of short (1-3 minute) clips examines the use of gravity assists in space travel, and introduces students to the concepts of momentum and energy conservation. 

Fixing the Hubble Space Telescope

This 8-minute video explores the challenges and engineering behind the Hubble repair. It includes recorded narration and music and features the voice of astronaut Jeff Hoffman, one of the astronauts on Hubble’s Servicing Mission 1 in 1993.