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Enrichment Ideas and Resources for the ACE Program

This page provides additional ideas for enrichment and/or extension of the ACE lessons provided by CAP and ACE teachers. 

If you have a suggestion or information you wish to share with other ACE teachers, please submit it by email to  Please specify whether or not you prefer your name to be listed on this page so that other teachers may contact you, if desired. 

Each grade level is listed and shows the manipulative item and lesson associated with that grade level. 

6th grade     

  • 6th grade teachers receive a "rocket football" for each student to accompany Physical Fitness Lesson #5, From Football to Flight and additional lesson, Statistically Speaking, found HERE.

  • 6th grade teachers also receive "Bernoulli Bags" for demonstration during Academic Lesson #1, Air-mazing Experiment.  See video of this lesson with linked lesson HERE

Teacher-submitted lesson suggestions:

Academic Lesson #2:  Target

  • As an extension, allow students to learn about and practice pitch, roll, and yaw by flying a virtual airplane at EAA Young Eagles games HERE.  

  • For more information about roll, pitch, and yaw, have students complete the lesson Target from Aerospace Education Excellence (AEX) for Middle School Physical Science, Lesson 5.

  • Check out the videoed lesson and associated resources for Target.

  • See the ACE lesson, Target, HERE.

Academic Lesson #6:  What's Hidden Below

  • Rather than using a shoe box, try using a Styrofoam "to go" box that does not have dividers for food inside the box.  The skewers EASILY go through the box.  You may wish to line the inside of the box with a dark sheet of construction paper or cloth to help prevent the ability to see through the holes made by the skewer.

Academic Lesson # 8:  Super Stars

  • Consider using this "Life Cycles of Stars" PowerPoint as a helpful resource.  (Mrs. Carla Chin, then, of San Jose Catholic School)

Physical Fitness Lesson #1- Sportsmanship: It's the Ultimate (Frisbee)

  • This lesson needs Frisbees to conduct the lesson, so the history of Frisbees is quite interesting to share- HERE

Other Tips/Suggestions:

  • Consider signing up to receive free weekly newsletters from  They have great, short video clips that can be used to introduce some of your lessons.  Also, the information introduces and emphasizes careers to students.   (Mrs. Carla Chin, then, of San Jose Catholic School)


5th grade 

  • 5th grade teachers receive a "prop-powered balsa airplane" for each student to accompany Academic Lesson #2, Forces of Flight, and additional lesson, Plot Your Plane, found HERE.

  • View and use the instructional video and additional ideas for this lesson found HERE.

Teacher-submitted lesson suggestions:

NOTICE: Please make the following CORRECTIONS to the ANSWER KEY for the "How Far from the Sun?" worksheet located in Academic Lesson #7 Scaled Solar System:
Mercury = 4 cm;  Venus = 7 cm; Jupiter = 28 cm

Consider “Hatchet” as a 5th grade literature selection:

Toward the end of the school year, my class finished reading the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.  It is about a teenage boy who is in a Cessna 406 that crashes.  Some of the vocabulary words were altimeter, rudders, fuselage, altitude, instruments, turbulence, transmitter, and elevators.  Due to the lessons we completed through the ACE program, my students recognized those particular words and were able to do well on the vocabulary test.  I was excited to see how much they remembered.  The students didn't realize they had learned so much about planes until we discussed the book.  The ACE Program can expand a student's understanding of so much more than just the lesson.  (Marilee Taylor, Otondo Elementary School)

Southwest Adopt-A-Pilot Program

Did you know Southwest Airlines has an Adopt-A-Pilot Program for 5th grade teachers and students?  Registration occurs in September, so don't delay reading Southwest Adopt-A-Pilot details.

Academic Lesson #1:  Lighter Than Air

Academic Lesson #2: Forces of Flight

  • A great resource for this lesson is How Things Fly.  You may wish to watch the short video as a class, and/or you may wish to let students explore this site on their own in the computer lab.  In this interactive online exhibition, visitors can explore the flight environment, aerodynamics, propulsion, structures and materials, flight dynamics and see the forces of flight in action.  It is very age/grade-appropriate!

Academic Lesson #4:  FPG-9 Glider

  • Make the FPG-9 glider yourself so that you understand the need to make small slits in the tail area of the glider and in the back of the main body of the glider in order for the tail to fit snuggly into the back of the glider.  Some students make the slits the same size as shown on the pattern, which makes it too large to fit snuggly.  Also, the glider does perform better by modifying the elevons so that they are wider than what the original pattern shows. 

  • As an extension, allow students to learn about and practice pitch, roll, and yaw by flying a virtual airplane at  

Academic Lesson #8:  String of Planets

  • Rather than using beads, try cutting out and using the scaled planet pictures available HERE.  

Character Aerospace Lesson #3:  Power Givers 

Academic Lesson #6 Astrospud Spacesuit Design Challenge

Try it HERE.


4th grade 

  • 4th grade teachers receive a "Rocket Planez pack" for each student to accompany Lesson #2, Rocketing to the Future, and additional lesson, Graph the Rocket Planez, found HERE.

Academic Lesson #4: Rocketing to the Future

  • The Rocketing to the Future lesson includes a new version of the previous Fun Shuttle student item.  To replace the Space Shuttle, and to reflect the innovative new rocket planes being designed for space travel, the new item is called Rocket Planez.  The Rocket Planez are constructed as the Fun Shuttle, so the following info is still pertinent for the Rocket Planez.  >>> View the YouTube video produced by AeroRacers Inc. which explains in detail what you need to know when you build or fly the Rocket Planez (or Fun Shuttle). View now.

  • Additionally, there are new paper version instructions for the Rocket Planez, found HERE.

  • AeroRacers, Inc. has been kind enough to share the Rocket Planez curriculum module with CAP for you to use at no cost with this item.  It is found HERE..

Academic Aerospace Lesson #7:  My Mission, My Patch

Academic Aerospace Lesson #8: NASA Spin-offs

  • The videoed lesson, the actual lesson link, and links to other associated resources are found HERE

Character Aerospace Lesson #4:  The Great Uncle Wiggly Wings

Teacher-submitted lesson suggestions:

Academic Lesson #3: Paper Airplanes

  • As an extension, allow students to learn about and practice pitch, roll, and yaw by flying a virtual airplane at EAA Young Eagles page.

Academic Aerospace Lesson #5:  Balloon Lifter

  • Rather than following the directions for making the "basket" attachment for the balloon, I let my students decide how and where they want to attach the small cup. It is fun to see what they come up with! (Mrs. Chin, San Jose Catholic School)

  • Rather than making the "basket" attachment, simply tape the small paper cup to the straw that is attached to the balloon.


3rd grade 

  • 3rd grade teachers receive a "foam airplane flyer" for each student to accompany Academic Lesson #4, Foam Flyer, and additional lesson, Round the Runways, found HERE.

Academic Lesson #6: Animals in Space

  • The videoed lesson, with lesson link and additional resources is found HERE

Teacher-submitted lesson suggestions:

Academic Lesson #5:  Double-Barreled Rocket

  • The amount of clay the students use at the end of the straw greatly impacts how far the straw will fly when launched.  (Not having a large "wad" of clay at the end of the straw yields better results.)  You may want the students to figure this out on their own.


2nd grade 

  • 2nd grade teachers receive a "foam  finger rocket" for each student to accompany Academic Lesson #8, Rocket to the Planets , and additional lesson, Hundreds of Rockets, found HERE..

  • The 2nd grade Solar System cards to use with Academic Lesson #7 are found HERE.

Teacher-submitted lesson suggestions:

Academic Aerospace Lesson #5:  Paper Rocket

  • Watch NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei demonstrate Newton’s Third Law of Motion on the ISS by exhibiting an equal and opposite force pair in STEMonstrations: Newton’s Third Law of Motion.  

  • The videoed lesson, with lesson link, and additional resources is found HERE. 



1st grade 

  • 1st grade teachers receive a "prop-powered balsa airplane" for each student to accompany Academic Lesson #3 Plane Art, Academic Lesson #4, Plane Pie Chart (see both HERE), and additional lesson, Glide and Step, found HERE.

Teacher-submitted lesson suggestions:

Academic Aerospace Lesson #1:  The Wind in Your Socks 

Academic Aerospace Lesson #9:  Do You See What I See? 

Character Aerospace Lesson #1:  What Goes Around Comes Around

  • This lesson, which involves a Boomerang, is a great lesson to teach caring for others.  This is the basis for the entire ACE program.  So, enjoy this "Boomerang lesson," and consider using it to "lift off the ACE program!"    



  • Kindergarten teachers receive an "Earth squeeze ball" for each student to accompany Academic Lesson #4, Coming in for a Landing, and additional lesson, Caring for the Continents of Earth, found HERE.

  • See video lesson of "Coming in for a Landing," HERE

Teacher-submitted lesson suggestions:

Academic Aerospace Lesson #8:  A is for Astronaut! 


K-6 Ideas and Resources

  • A list of events/activities to "lift off" (or wrap up) the ACE Program is provided in the ACE teacher's guide in the school-wide implementation guidelines (see page 5, #3).  Many of the activities are examples of those conducted by schools.  Additional ideas may also be located in the news articles located on the ACE in the News page. 

    Regarding a culminating activity, consider taking pictures throughout the year and present your school's (or classroom's) ACE slideshow during an assembly.  You may consider having an assembly where student representatives from each grade level demonstrate/show a product of the grade level’s (or classroom’s) favorite ACE activity and tell something they learned.  Upper elementary grades might present their information as a short newscast or make a video to share.

    As for PowerPoint presentations or video clips to show an audience of students to get them excited about aerospace, there are many online, and here is a short list: Earth from SpaceAstronaut-Guided Tour of ISS, and Air Break 2 .  You may do a Google search for more options.

  • Try using this cool airplane video as part of your ACE event or airplane lesson from EAA AirVenture HERE. (If you are unable to view "YouTube" at your school, consider downloading the video using your home computer, saving it to a disk/memory stick, and bringing it to show at school.)

  • Shuttle SRB Viewpoint Video:  Absolutely mind-blowing video shot from the Space Shuttle during launch.  Amazing views and sound!

  • Find additional aerospace video clips, PowerPoints, and activities on our CAP AE Lessons & Activities page.

  • 2012 Black History Month Video:  NASA's Associate Administrator for Education and two-time space shuttle astronaut Leland Melvin's African American History Month message reflects on space-related milestones of the past and challenges viewers to use their talents to inspire today's youth to future achievement. (Leland Melvin is featured in a Sixth Grade Physical Fitness lesson.)

  • Consider adding an ACE page to your school's website or individual teacher web page.  

  • Quick link to the ACE Website and Literature Resources Index.





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