The Sky Is Not The Limit! - Aerospace in Texas

Social Studies, Grades 4, 5, and 7

Using primary source images, video footage and secondary texts, students will create their own museum exhibit slideshow to present themes and events leading to the development of the aerospace industry in Texas and analyze the resulting impact this development had on the economy. In addition to understanding the impact of the aerospace industry in Texas, students will be able to explain the use of primary sources to demonstrate historical fact and demonstrate their use in creating a narrative about historical events.


Alan Shephard, first American in space(17:424-18:53)
Space Exploration Clip(5:53)
LBJ Honors Buzz Aldrin and James Lovell (23:27-26:31)
LBJ presents medals to Walter Cunningham & the Apollo 7 crew (4:24-10:43)
  • Prior Knowledge Prior Knowledge
  • Hook Hook
  • Lesson Lesson
  • Independent Learn... Independent Learning
  • Closing Closing
  • Resources Resources
  • Lesson Plan Use Lesson Plan Use
  1. Students should have an idea of how technological developments impact a region's economy.
  2. Students should have a basic understanding of the aerospace industry and NASA.
  3. Students should have some familiarity with making a PowerPoint. 
  1. Ask students to discuss with a partner how the aerospace industry (or NASA) is depicted in the media, including in the news, on the Internet, and through Hollywood films.
  2. Divide the board into three parts and ask students to come up and write their responses under each of the above categories.
  3. Once students have completed this task, have them work with the same partner to decide which five depictions, regardless of category, they believe are the most realistic.
  4. Have groups share their answers and discuss the similarities and differences.
  1. Discuss the instructions to create an aerospace museum. Explain that the videos in the lesson should enable them to choose general topics they could cover in a museum. Answer any questions they may have regarding the topics they will need to consider.
  2. Have students take individual notes over the videos below, focusing specifically on the technological innovations and aerospace industry events described in each. 
Once the students have finished watching the videos, have them peer share with the person next to them. Ask each students to decide which space event was:
1) The most significant and
2) Caused the most significant changes in Texas.
Creating a Museum Exhibit Slideshow:
Note: This lesson assumes students have access to a computer lab at school, however, the creation of the museum exhibit also works as an independent take-home assignment or consist of drawings and handwritten notes. 
  1. Place students in groups of 2-3. Ensure each group has access to a computer that enables them to research and create a PowerPoint Slideshow.
  2. Students can use TAMI videos, their textbooks, library books, the Internet, and other images to create a museum exhibit slideshow demonstrating the development and impact of the aerospace industry in Texas.
  3. Have students use their video notes and their textbooks to determine what topics they would like to exhibit . Remind them that to demonstrate both the development and impact of the aerospace industry they should include chronological, event-driven, biographical, and thematic displays.
  4. When students have chosen their topics, they should perform an image and text search using approved Internet databases or an encyclopedia to find the primary source material for their exhibit slideshow.
  5. Once they have selected their primary sources, have students place them on slides in an order to simulate a tour through a museum. Students should add text to complete the stories told by the images, but remind them that text on museum displays is often brief and to the point. The slides should not be text heavy.
  6. Once the groups have completed their PowerPoints, have them present them to the class, explaining how the individual displays reflect the development of the aerospace industry in Texas and its impact on the state.
Once students have finished presenting their museum exhibit slideshows, discuss the following:
  1. How can the primary source images and video footage be used to demonstrate the historical events exhibited in your museum?
  2. Do you believe these are a valid source of historical evidence? Are they as valid, more valid, or less valid than your textbook?
  3. What did you find most difficult in the creation of your museum? What was easiest?
  • NASA’s Johnson Space Center Web site
  • NASA's Website
  • Dick, Steven, Robert Jacobs, Constance Moore, and Bertram Ulrich. America in Space: NASA’s First Fifty Years. Ed. Neil Armstrong. New York: Abrams Books, 2007.
  • Gorn, Michael. NASA: The Complete Illustrated History. New York: Merrell, 2008.

Social Studies Grade 4

5A - Identify the impact of various issues and events on life in Texas such as urbanization, increased use of oil and gas, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and World War II
13A - Identify ways in which technological changes in areas such as transportation and communication have resulted in increased interdependence among Texas, the United States, and the world
13B - Identify oil and gas, agricultural, and technological products of Texas that are purchased to meet needs in the United States and around the world
20B - Describe how scientific discoveries technological innovations such as in aerospace, agriculture, energy, and technology have benefited individuals, businesses, and society in Texas
21A - Differentiate between, locate, and use valid primary and secondary sources such as computer software; interviews; biographies; oral, print, and visual material; and artifacts to acquire information about the United States and Texas
23B - Use a decision-making process to identify a situation that requires a decision, gather information, identify options, predict consequences, and take action to implement a decision
Social Studies Grade 5
23A - Identify the accomplishments of notable individuals in the fields of science and technology, including Benjamin Franklin, Eli Whitney, John Deere, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, George Washington Carver, the Wright Brothers, and Neil Armstrong
23B - Identify how scientific discoveries, technological innovations, and the rapid growth of technology industries have advanced the economic development of the United States, including the transcontinental railroad and the space program
Social Studies Grade 7
13C - Analyze the impact of significant industries in Texas such as oil and gas, aerospace, medical, and computer technology on local, national, and international markets
20B - Identify Texas leaders in science and technology such as Walter Cunningham, Michael DeBakey, Denton Cooley, Benjy Brooks, Michael Dell, and Howard Hughes, Sr.
20C - Analyze the effects of various scientific discoveries and technological innovations on the development of Texas such as advancements in agricultural, energy, medical, computer, and aerospace industries

20E - Analyze how scientific discoveries and technological innovations have resulted in an interdependence among Texas, the United States, and the world
21A - Differentiate between, locate, and use primary and secondary sources such as computer software, databases, media and news services, biographies, interviews, and artifacts to acquire information about Texas
21B - Analyze information by sequencing, categorizing, identifying cause-and-effect relationships, comparing, contrasting, finding the main idea, summarizing, making generalizations and predictions, and drawing inferences and conclusions
23B - Use a decision-making process to identify a situation that requires a decision, gather information, identify options, predict consequences, and take action to implement a decision
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