What could certainly be dubbed a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ came for 20 middle school students at Eastern Kentucky University today. They posed questions to a NASA astronaut aboard the international space station. The connection was made through a downlink in the university’s Hummel Planetarium. Kentucky Educational Television also participated in the event.
Dr Jaleh Rezaire is the Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Research at E-K-U.
“Everything happened on plan and the astronaut that the students talked with was Dr. Marshburn. He was absolutely phenomenal. He answered the questions. He did a few flips in the space station and it was very good,” said Rezaire.
There were 160 students from 47 different schools on the Richmond campus today.
“We’re hoping that we planted a seed, so they start thinking about science and technology and what it takes to reach their dream of being an astronaut or a physician or any type of scientist or a teacher, hopefully a science teacher,” added Rezaire.
Three young students from Knott County were among the group gathered to watch the event in the planetarium.
“I didn’t really like science before I came, but I thought it was kind of interesting after today.” “
“We’d talk about how they would float in space and the equipment they use to do things.”
“ I thought it was pretty cool and it was way cooler than going to school today,” said the three young people.
Eastern was one of only six sites across the country chosen for the student to space station connection. Kentucky Educational Television helped facilitate the downlink.