January 28, 2022
At the Museum of Innovation and Science (miSci) in Schenectady, New York, space-themed birthday parties have been a hit. The space themed birthday program includes free time to explore the museum, a thirty-minute activity, party room time, and a customized live sky show in the Suits-Bueche Planetarium of the birthday person’s night sky on the day they were born.
The Moon Adventure Game is used as a 30-minute activity and group sizes are limited to 10 children plus 1 adult to assist the facilitator. It is most popular with 3rd through 5th graders, but we also modify it for younger audiences (Kindergarten through 2nd). For groups of ten, we introduce the game in our space shuttle simulator and have two teams of five compete to finish their rover travel plan before entering the “lunar outpost.” The first team to finish enters the lunar outpost and begins the second challenge. Once the moonquake hits, the second team is allowed to enter and continue the challenge. Both teams usually finish their challenges and “survive” their time on the Moon before it’s time for cake.
The part of the program that is a consistent favorite is performing the electrolysis challenge. Children are very excited to see the reaction take place and it is reliably something new they have never seen or heard of before. The inclusion of special roles, like the communication specialist, helps keep the groups working together and engaged in the time remaining to perform the tasks. Children and adults alike enjoy competing, as well as getting the bragging rights to restoring oxygen and power faster than their peers.
More birthday resources:
- What did the Hubble Telescope see on your birthday? https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/what-did-hubble-see-on-your-birthday
- Search the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) calendar for your birthday https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/calendar/allyears.html
- How did the Moon look on your birthday? Moon phase calculator https://stardate.org/nightsky/moon