Zooming across the sky—Fifth graders win interview with astronaut
What is it like communicating with your family in space?
How does drinking water in space work?
What was it like to make art in space?
These are just a few of the questions that Stephanie Mitzenmacher’s fifth-grade class asked astronaut Nicole Stott during a very special Zoom interview. Stott, a NASA veteran who has lived aboard the International Space Station, was happy to answer these questions and many more during the nearly hour-long interview. The students earned this opportunity to speak with Stott through their participation in a project called Sky Day Fridays.
The Sky Day project is an international celebration of science, art, and education centered on our climate. In order to qualify for the interview with Stott, Mitzenmacher’s class had to complete three projects. First, they took pictures for an online “sky gallery” and reflected on their celestial observations. Next, students wrote their own poems, inspired by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s work “Our Purpose in Poetry: Or, Earthrise.” Finally, the class made a series of collages on the topic of air quality. When all of their projects were submitted, Lab’s class was just one of two selected by Sky Day to participate in the call with Stott.
For all the information about living in space that Stott shared with the class, her ultimate message was to encourage students to see themselves as astronauts on the spaceship Earth. Reminiscing over the teamwork and camaraderie she shared with her international colleagues on the ISS, Stott proclaimed that “the only border that matters is the atmosphere.” Her final advice for students was to think of themselves as crewmates, not passive passengers on Earth, and to work together to take care of our shared global environment. “We all need to remember,” said Stott, “our planet is our life support system.”
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