“A Year of Education on the Station” or YES has begun with the launch of former classroom teacher, Joe Acaba in September. He will return in February of 2018 to be immediately followed by another former educator, Ricky Arnold, launching in March of 2018. That gives us an entire year with a teacher in space! NASA’s STEM on Station team is taking full advantage of this rare and wonderful opportunity to help students and educators participate in unique STEM related activities along with astronauts who know how to teach on the ISS.
A new website was launched: www.nasa.gov/educaton/onstation which will allow students and teachers alike to find lots of information and resources. Both astronauts will be performing video demonstrations (STEMonstrations), taped messages, and Question and Answer sessions with select educational organizations. Activities will cover a wide range of topics that can be used to excite students and get them interested in the related lessons they are working on in the classroom. The site also includes many possibilities for ways NASA can be brought into your classroom, including the possibility of a taped message or even a live chat with astronauts on the ISS! Events will be posted throughout the year on the YES website.
There will be a Facebook live event on October 16, 2017, via the ISS Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ISS) or on NASATV (www.nasa.gov/ntv) to celebrate Acaba’s launch into space and the official launch of YES. The event will happen at 11:05 am CST. Acaba, his Italian crewmate, Paolo Nespoli, and the ISS program manager, Kirk Shireman will be on hand to talk about YES and answer questions from participants all over the world. There are many other ways to follow this year-long event. You can follow JSC Education Facebook page (NASA JSC Education), follow the astronauts on Twitter at (Joe Acaba) @AstroAcaba and (Ricky Arnold) @Astro_Ricky, or you can follow NASA Education @NASAedu for updates on YES and other happenings on the ISS.
NASA has a long tradition and commitment to education. In honor of that tradition, the two astronauts will be doing many activities, but perhaps the most special are the lesson from the lesson plans Christa McAuliffe intended to perform during her journey on the Challenger Space Shuttle in 1986. Don’t miss this opportunity to get involved, take advantage of the many events and activities, and become part of the story surrounding this historic Year of Education on the Space Station!
Steven C. Smith
Educator Professional Development Specialist, NASA STEM EPDC
NASA Johnson Space Center