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What Would You Bring to Space

Recommend For: Ages 7 and up

Badges: Ready for Space, Space & the Present, Artist in Space

Download this activity as a PDF - no electricity needed.

When Astronauts live on the International Space Station or are traveling on Space Shuttles they leave behind things that we consider to be part of our everyday lives. They not only leave behind their family and friends (while they can still keep in touch through phone called and emails), they leave behind most of the things that make up their normal life – their favorite toys, clothes, pizza delivery place, sports, and computer games. Thankfully, astronauts are allowed to bring a few things with them to help them feel closer to home.


In this activity, you can imagine what you would bring into space with you and create an artwork inspired by your choices.


What You Need

  • A piece of paper that is 8.5 inches by 8.5 inches (you can cut a regular piece of computer paper to make this size – but you are welcome to use whatever paper you like).

  • Art supplies that you have around the house. We recommend a mixed media collage – so old magazines are perfect! You can also new pens, pencil crayons, markers, tissue paper, newspaper, paint, and glitter.


A Little Background


Astronauts bring a Personal Preference Kit (PPK) into space with them. This Kit is used to carry their chosen personal belongings. These Kits have size and weight restrictions (astronauts are limited to 1.5 pounds per astronaut). Their personal belongings also have to fit inside the Kit. It’s like packing a suitcase for a trip. You can only pack what fits inside the suitcase.


Learn more about PPKs from NASA here.


For example, when Astronaut Jeff Hoffman was getting ready to go to the International Space Station, he spoke with his rabbi about what observances could be accommodated in space. While he could not light candles for Hanukkah, he could bring along a traveling menorah and a dreidel to mark the holiday. He also brought a mezuzah with Velcro backing in order to secure it to his bunk. During his 1996 mission on the Space Shuttle Columbia, he became the first astronaut to bring and read from the Torah in space.



Imagine you are getting ready for a 6 month trip to the International Space Station. How do you choose what to include in your Personal Preference Kit?

Think about:

Would you bring something for entertainment? What are your favorite hobbies or sports? What are your favorite books? Your favorite music?

Would you bring something to represent your culture?

Would you bring something for your religion? Would you bring ceremonial objects? Decorations for holidays?

Would you bring a favorite food or drink?

Would you bring something to remind you of your family?

Would you bring something to remind you of your friends?  

Would you bring something to represent your school?


Now is the hard part. You can’t bring everything. You have to choose which things are the most important. You can only choose five things to bring with you to the International Space Station. Remember, you can’t bring anything too big because it won’t fit into your Kit. Talk with a friend or family member about what you have chosen. Why did you pick those objects?



Use an 8.5 by 11 inches piece of paper as your background. Draw a line to make an 8.5 inch by 8.5 inch square on the paper. On the remaining space below the square, list the five things that you have chosen. Remember to include why those objects are important to you and why you chose them.


Download a template for guidance.


Inside the 8.5 inch by 8.5 inch square, use art materials to create an artwork that is based on the five things you would bring to the International Space Station with you.


Want to complete this task towards collecting a Wondernaut badge and potentially have it displayed in the Jewish Museum of Maryland’s upcoming exhibit Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit? Follow the instructions below!

Make sure that your artwork is 8.5 inches by 8.5 inches in size (we suggest using the template provided to help you). The artwork must be 2-Dimensional (it needs to fit inside a picture frame).


Remember to include: (*required)

  • Your Name*

  • Your Age*

  • What your five objects are and why you chose them*

  • You can also tell us about how you made your artwork (Use a second sheet of paper if you need more space)


You can submit your work using two methods:

  • Option One: Mail your artwork to the Jewish Museum of Maryland, 15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore MD 21202 Attn: Paige Woodhouse, School Program Coordinator

  • Option Two: Take a photo/scan of your artwork. Please use a high resolution for the photograph (we recommend 300 dpi or 4032x3024 pixels) and email it to with the subject line “What Would You Bring to Space Submission.” In the email please include your name and age.

  • Option Three: If you do not want your artwork to be considered for display in the exhibit but still want to earn your Wondernaut badge, you can share a photo of your work with the Wondernaut community.

Ready to share? Head here!

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