Car board game.

CareerStart lessons: Grade six

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Learning outcomes

Students will describe space explorations and the understandings gained from the International Space Station, and will explore related careers.

Teacher planning

Materials needed

  • Computer with Internet access
  • International Space Station student handout
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor (Note: If the Occupational Outlook Handbook is not available at your school media center or guidance office, please refer to the electronic version on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. This website is also a great tool for readers who would struggle with a handbook of this size.)

Time required for lesson

Approximately 60 minutes
Homework time may be needed.

Advance preparation

  • Reserve computer lab.
  • Make copies of International Space Station student handout


  1. Explain to students that they will be working on the computer to learn about the International Space Station (ISS). Students will have the career of someone who has helped to plan, create, build, assemble, or work on the space station. (5 minutes)
  2. Give each student a handout and have students randomly select a career. (5 minutes)
  3. Take students to computer lab. Have them log in to computers and follow the procedure on the student sheet. (45 minutes)
  4. The individual questions on the student sheet can be completed during class, as time allows, or assigned as homework. (5 minutes)


Optional resources for more information on the topics covered in this lesson

Space-Age Living
Discovery Education’s website on the International Space Station provides basic information about the mission, videos, and teacher tips and resources.
International Space Station Interactive Reference Guide
A fully interactive website to explain how the crew lives and how the space station works, with a 360º virtual tour.
neoK12: Space Exploration
Videos on space exploration reviewed by K-12 teachers, including three tours of the International Space Station.
NASA’s African-American Astronauts
A fact sheet with short biographies of NASA astronauts of African-American descent.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Science (2005)

Grade 6

  • Goal 5: The learner will build understanding of the Solar System.
    • Objective 5.04: Describe space explorations and the understandings gained from them including:
      • N.A.S.A.
      • Technologies used to explore space.
      • Historic timeline.
      • Apollo mission to the moon.
      • Space Shuttle.
      • International Space Station.
      • Future goals.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Guidance (2010)
      • Progressing

        • P.CR.2 Understand the relationship among career goals and interests, personal interests, aptitudes, and abilities. P.CR.2.1 Maintain a career-planning portfolio. P.CR.2.2 Use research and information resources to obtain career information.