September 30, 2018

Astronaut or Aquanaut—Which would you be?

by guest-blogger Jennifer Swanson

It’s so much fun to imagine what our future careers will be one day. You might find yourself wishing to blast off into space OR to dive deep under the ocean. But would you like either of these careers? Are they hard to do? What kind of training is needed? And WHAT does the suit you have to wear look and feel like?
   These are all amazing questions. A lot of them are answered in my book, Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact. But because this is a science/STEM/STEAM book we have some fun activities for you to do right in your own home to see which one of these careers you might choose.

Astronaut Training:
Do you have what it takes to dock at the Space Station? Grab a tennis ball, a big plastic cup, some rope or strong string and give it a try. It’s not as easy as you think!

Aquanaut Training:
Underwater is all about how things float. If you were going to dive deep under water, how do you make sure that you stay down there? And how do you make sure that you come back up? That force is called Buoyancy. It’s a force that pushes up on us as gravity pushes down. Try this experiment to see how things float… or sink

Did you succeed? Did both of your experiments work? Which one did you like more?
Challenge: If you’re looking for more ways to decide, I challenge you to design your own space suit OR underwater suit. What would it look like? What tools would it have? Draw it and compare with your friend.

So what did you decide? Will you be an Astronaut OR Aquanaut?

My choice? Aquanaut. All the way. I’d rather see this out my window: 

Than this:

Although to be quite honest, they are both amazing views! Thanks so much for joining me on the Hands-On Books!  Jennifer Swanson,


  1. I'd rather be an aquanaut, too!

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