Upshur County Schools

Upshur Students Skype with an Astronaut

"This is a once in a lifetime event and I think it was really cool that you would get to ask an astronaut a question that's actually in space" says Tennerton Elementary School 5th grader Brooklyn Smith.
"Astronauts are really cool and they have to be like smart enough to go to space" adds Tennerton Elementary School 5th grader Bear Metheney.

A NASA downlink event where 4th and 5th grade students from Upshur County Schools got to Skype with an astronaut from the International Space Center, reminding them that working for NASA isn't out of their realm of opportunities.

"NASA has an aging workforce and so it all starts at the roots of our country. So getting kiddos to start realizing their great potential they have" says Education Specialist for NASA Jess White.
Twenty students were previously selected and able to ask the astronaut questions about space.
"I asked, 'what responsibilities do you have, not only to NASA, but to the community, as an astronaut" says Smith.
"I asked, 'how do you deal with claustrophobia in space?'" says 5th grade student Lyndsey Black. "I think it would be cool to learn like if they have claustrophobia and like how do they deal with it" adds Black.
The science, technology, engineer, and math event not only let students talk to an astronaut in space, but it links their in-class lessons to real-life experiences.
their in-class lessons to real-life experiences. "They're able to make the correlation and connection from what they're learning to actually seeing it in real life situations, so the experience has been enough to trigger their desire to want to learn more" says 4th grade teacher at Tennerton Elementary School Carrie Barton.
Education specialist for NASA says that if you get students excited about these subjects at a young age, they're more likely to stick with them.
"As students mature through the early adolescent ages, sometimes they have a tendency to lose focus or interest in math and science. Hopefully, this will get them fired up right before they hit middle school" says White.
The day finished off with a science carnival where students could do their own experiments.
"I think it's really cool that I get to do this" says Smith.
See WDTV coverage of the event at: