Some Dallas-area students are looking forward to an out-of-this-world learning experience this Thursday. NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station will answer pre-recorded video questions from middle and high school students from the Dallas, Desoto, Duncanville, and Lancaster Independent School Districts.
The digital conference is scheduled for Thursday, November 18, at 10:20 am local time, and a special live viewing event for students will be held at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center.
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, who represents the region, will deliver pre-recorded opening and closing remarks. NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Thomas Marshburn will be answering the pre-taped video questions submitted by the students live from outer space via satellite link.
Similar events have been held annually in different locations around the United States for several years. In 2012, for example, over 10,000 students in the Washington, D.C. area participated in a 20-minute video call in which Expedition 22 Commander Sunita Williams and Flight Engineer Kevin Ford answered questions about what it’s like to live and work in space.
The event is part of NASA’s popular STEM on Station program, designed to enhance student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Connecting students directly with astronauts on the space station provides a unique and authentic experience for students.
Astronauts have been living and working on the Space Station for over 20 years. They test technologies, perform science experiments, and develop the skills needed for future exploration beyond Earth.
Through its Artemis program, Nasa plans to establish a long-term presence on the Moon, with the possibility of someday launching the first astronauts to Mars. Perhaps some of today’s students will be tomorrow’s Moon-dwellers and Mars-explorers.