District Chosen for ISS Downlink with Space Station Astronauts

District Chosen for ISS Downlink with Space Station Astronauts
Posted on 10/30/2019
Space Station Astronauts standing with earth in the background

Students from across the School District of Lee County will have the opportunity to speak, live through a satellite video downlink, with an astronaut on board the International Space Station. The February 27th conversation will celebrate 50 years since the moon landing, life in space today and envisioning the future of space travel and habitation.

“This is absolutely incredible, and I am so excited for our students to once again have the chance to learn about space from astronauts living and working in space,” says 5th Grade Teacher Courtney Black. Last school year, Black organized the ARISS contact via a HAM Radio with Space Station Astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor. She again is the driving force behind this effort. “We will be giving our students a once-in-a-lifetime experience to speak to an astronaut and hopefully encourage them to keep studying science and pursue a STEM oriented career.”

50 schools will be chosen to participate in the space themed lessons that surround the space station contact and select a student to attend the video conversation. Some of the educational options include:

  • Tomatosphere: Students study the difference between the germination rates of tomato seeds that have flown on the International Space Station versus those that have stayed on earth.
  • The Martian Garden: Students examine the various conditions and mediums that plants can be grown in, from hydroponics to simulated Martian regolith.
  • 10th Annual International Art Contest: Co-sponsored by The Space Foundation and Firefly, the International Art Contest features the work of student artists, ages 3 to 18 years old, from around the world.
  • Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut: Students participate in various activities to simulate the rigors and challenges of being in space.

Fort Myers High School will host the ISS Downlink in its 1,000 seat auditorium. Members of the class of 1969 will be invited to mark the moon landing’s 50th Anniversary. Students, teachers and special guests will also be on hand to witness the conversation.