Space Elevator

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In this activity, learners imagine what the world might look like if we could build an elevator to space! After viewing some artist illustrations of possible space elevators, learners imagine what our future world might be like if it were possible to take an elevator into space. Learner draw and talk about what they image, while reflecting on and discussing several suggested questions in the activity guide. The activity makes connections to the field of nanotechnology through the possibilities of nanomaterials changing our future, and how people’s values shape how nanotechnologies are developed and adopted. Step-by-step instructions are included with photos along with safety recommendations. Activity guide includes a "What's going on?" explanation and quick connections to space exploration and super strong, lightweight carbon nanotubes.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Probes, Satellites and Spacecraft
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
    • Technology
      • Construction
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science and Society
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology


Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Sciencenter

Source Collection

  • NISE Network


  • , Sciencenter, 2013

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation