The animated TV series "Space Racers" has shared educational content for students during school closures amid the coronavirus outbreak.
"Space Racers" is a NASA-funded, award-winning preschool television series that follows young spaceship cadets at the Stardust Space Academy as they explore the solar system. Episodes of the TV series — along with educational content; science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) activities; and educator-approved lesson plans — are now available online (opens in new tab).
"Our hearts go out to all the millions of families whose lives have been completely uprooted due to COVID-19," the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Matthias Schmitt, chief operating officer of "Space Racers," said in an emailed statement. "We empathize with the immense stress that parents are feeling in order to homeschool and take care of their children during school hours while maintaining a sense of normality in these uncertain times."
Lesson plans available through SpaceRacers.com (opens in new tab) offer options for students to conduct experiments and learn about topics ranging from the scientific method to planets in the solar system and different phases of the moon. The lesson plans explain complicated scientific topics like heliophysics (solar physics), earth science, planetary science and astrophysics at a preschool level.
Among the space-themed activities is a coloring sheet that teaches kids about the patterns of stars and constellations. There is also a sun and planets matching game available to download (opens in new tab), which helps kids learn the names of the different planets in the solar system and what they look like.
New episodes of "Space Racers" will also be released each week on the series' YouTube channel (opens in new tab), offering STEAM-rich entertainment for children. New episodes to look forward to include "Stardust Rhythm," "When the Envy Bug Bites" and "Happiest Rocket in the World."
"For years, our home-schooling materials have been readily available for free for families, and we'd like to open up our distribution to anyone looking for educator-approved STEM materials to do from home," Schmitt said in the statement. "We are also taking an extra step to release one episode per week to the public on our YouTube channel and hope families can watch them together in an interactive way — by asking and answering questions and being curious— as part of their new home-schooling time ahead."
Parents can find and print all of the "Space Racers" space-themed educational activities and lesson plans online (opens in new tab).
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