Space Stations: Beans in Space

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In this activity, learners perform 20 arm curls with cans that simulate the weight of beans on Earth versus the weights of the same number of beans on the Moon and in space. Learners explore what happens to muscles in space that do not have to fight the force of gravity. This activity station is part of a sequence of stations that can be set up to help learners explore how space affects the human body and why.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 3 opaque non-breakable containers (coffee cans work well)
  • Tape (to seal the containers)
  • 3 cups of beans (for each Earth can only)
  • ½ cup of beans (for each Moon can)
  • Paper or foam to stuff inside the Earth and Moon cans so that the beans don't rattle
  • Labels for each can
  • Children's Guide


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
    • Earth Structure
    • Solar System
      • The Moon
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Muscles and Skin
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
    • Science as a Career

Informal Categories

  • Physical Activity
  • Sports and Exercise


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate's Education Program