Explore Humans in Space: Looking at the Mathematics Behind Space Food & Nutrition
Thursday 07/07/2022
1:00 pm ET
FREE 1-hour Webinar
Educators in Grades K-12

The NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University is providing a 1-hour webinar.

Come will learn about food and nutrition onboard the International Space Station and how this also impacts our Artemis planning for the Journey to back to the Moon and then on to Mars. 

Explore NASA's Space Food using mathematics to investigate nutritional needs for astronauts onboard the International Space Station and long duration space flight. Calculate the impact of body type, age and exercise on an astronauts daily caloric needs. Investigate relationships between food packaging, serving sizes and product waste. Come enjoy a menu of inquiry-based activities designed to integrate food, nutrition and space as you satisfy your mathematics appetite.

Looking at NASA's Space Food, we will talk about relevant connections to daily life by making connections between portion size, caloric content and nutritional value. Participants will calculate the energy needs using the basal metabolic rate (BMR) equation and the amount of daily exercise. Plan a daily menu that meets the calculated caloric needs using the current International Space Station menu. Using the weight of the food, calculate the cost to transport a balanced one-day menu. Extension activities include estimating serving size, calculating empty space, and percent difference.

Guidance regarding the use of instructional practices where the instructor is the expert guide and students are engaged with thinking about the content will be used as participants work through the learning process to find optimal solutions. Working first as an individual and then as part of a group, students will plan, estimate a serving and do cost analysis. With multiple levels of difficulty, differentiate learning can be tailored to meet student needs as they calculate the cost of this out of this world meal!

 Leave with a classroom ready PowerPoint that works great for an in-person, at home or virtual presentation and includes videos, links and aligns to NGSS.


Barbie Buckner is a 20+ year STEM classroom teacher with a Doctorate’s Degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Louisville. Her research interest included the impact of technology on student achievement and teacher behavior. Buckner recently served as a 2013-14 Einstein Fellow at the National Science Foundation Education and Human Resources Directorate where she collaborated with colleagues on learning, learning environments, boarding participating and workforce development. Barbie sees education as her calling and has spent her life sharing her love for learning with everyone around her. Knowing that today’s student will compete in a global economy, Barbie says that “It is imperative that today’s students are prepared with consistent rigorous and relevant standards that produce more STEM majors, particularly women, to keep this great nation at the forefront in technology, innovation, and advancement.”