The Big Question

Who should own space?

Who should own space?

Classroom view

Activity overview

30 mins+
Ages 9 – 11

Science topics:


Planning an investigation will really get your class thinking like scientists. How will they investigate who should own space? 

Run the activity

1. Plan an investigation around a Big Question. What do the pupils already know about who owns space?

  • Should one country own all of space?
  • What is valuable in space?
  • Should it be finders, keepers? 
  • If humans lived on Mars, should it be split up into countries?

2. How will the group explore the question? Prompt pupils to explain their ideas, qualify them and refine them based on views expressed by other people. What is their plan for the investigation?

3. Ask the class to imagine they had to present their investigation at a school assembly or to their family, how would they show their action plan?

Background science

In the 1960s the ‘Outer Space Treaty’ was signed by America and Russia to say that the moon and other space objects belonged to all of humankind and that exploration must be peaceful. Asteroids are normally richer in valuable materials that the Earth’s crust. In July 2015, a huge rock passed Earth with a platinum core worth £3.5 trillion! Also in 2015, Barak Obama, who was the American President at the time, passed a law that allows American Citizens to mine asteroids and own the materials that they find.

Take it further

Want to bring the children back down to Earth? Watch this fantastic What’s Going On? video

Find out more about the ‘Space Race’ with this NASA link.