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The Space Race

How the Cold War Put Humans on the Moon · Inquire & Investigate

by Matthew Brenden Wood Author · Samuel Carbaugh Illustrator

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On July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong landed gently on the lunar surface and became the first person to set foot on another world. People around the world stopped what they were doing to crowd around television sets and radios to witness one of the greatest achievements in human history—a man walking on the moon. How did we get there? Why haven't we gone back?

In The Space Race: How the Cold War Put Humans on the Moon, kids ages 12 to 15 explore the race to the moon against the chilling backdrop of the Cold War. The Space Race was the period during and after the Cold War when America and the Soviet Union participated in a fierce competition to see which country could beat the other into space. It was a time of bitterness, fear, and secrecy, but it was also a moment in history when two countries directed resources toward pushing themselves to reach goals that were once thought unattainable. Would we have succeeded as far as we did without the competition to be first?

While Neil Armstrong will be remembered as the first person to set foot on the moon, the people and events behind this accomplishment populate a fascinating tale of politics, science, technology, and teamwork that resulted in what might be the greatest accomplishment of the twentieth century. In The Space Race, middle school students explore this history of science and discover the political, social, and economic factors that led to incredible achievements in space, including the launch of Sputnik, the launch of Explorer I, and eventually, the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon, where Neil Armstrong took those famous first steps. Middle school students will meet some of the tens of thousands of engineers and scientists that worked for years to create the technology needed to send humans to the moon and return them safely to Earth.

By showing space events against the backdrop of the turmoil back on Earth, readers understand that scientific achievement doesn't happen in a vacuum, even when it happens in space! A wealth of links to primary sources makes this an interactive learning experience while science-minded STEAM activities link the historical and scientific material. Throughout the fun facts, cool photos, and investigative projects, kids are encouraged to explore creative and critical thinking and problem-solving strategies.

The Space Race is one book in a set of four that explore great events of the twentieth century. Other titles in this set include Globalization: Why We Care About Faraway Events; The Vietnam War; and World War II: From the Rise of the Nazi Party to the Dropping of the Atomic Bomb.

Publication Details

Publisher:
Nomad Press
Publication Date:
2018
Series:
Inquire & Investigate

Format

Matthew Brenden Wood (Author)

Matthew Brenden Wood, author of The Science of Science Fiction and Planetary Science: Explore New Frontiers, is a math and science teacher with a passion for STEAM education. He is also an avid amateur astronomer and astrophotographer. Wood holds ...

More about Matthew Brenden Wood
The Space Race
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