Discovery’s under wing surfaces were protected by thousands of high-temperature insulation tiles. Credit: NASA; Wikipedia.

NASA is jettisoning some stuff they don’t need, now that the Shuttle program has ended, through their “Tiles for Teachers” and “Space Food for Schools” programs. There is even a link to lesson plans for grades 2-4, 5-8 and 9-12. There are a few rules, but they look fairly innocuous.

Spread the word to the teachers in your circle. Be the cool parent!

So you have all the facts, here’s the actual NASA press release:

“NASA Offers Shuttle Tiles And Space Food To Schools And Universities”

NASA is offering space shuttle heat shield tiles and dehydrated astronaut food to eligible schools and universities. The initiative is part of the agency’s efforts to preserve the Space Shuttle Program’s history and technology and inspire the next generation of space explorers, scientists and engineers.

The lightweight tiles protected the shuttles from extreme temperatures when the orbiters re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere. The food, which was precooked or processed so that refrigeration is unnecessary, is ready to eat or could be prepared simply by adding water or by heating. Schools can register for a login ID and request a tile or food at:

Click on the appropriate icon to log on to the request page. Eligible institutions use National Center for Education Statistics or Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System numbers assigned by the U.S. Department of Education to apply for the artifacts. Requests will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Because the tiles and food are government property, a transfer protocol is observed. Recipients will be responsible for a shipping and handling fee, which is payable to the shipping company through a secure website. “Tiles for Teachers” are offered for the shipping and handling fee of $23.40. “Space Food for Schools” is offered in one package containing about three space food items for a shipping and handling fee of $28.03.

If additional assistance is needed with registration, send an email to:

For more information on tiles, food and other NASA artifacts available to museums and libraries, visit:

For lesson plans based on the tiles, visit: