Second Baptist School students recently participated in a once in a lifetime, out-of-this-world experience connecting with NASA Astronaut Christina Koch aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Through partnerships with parents, faculty and student leaders, SBS is currently engaging in hands-on science and math experiments on the ISS. Head of School Dr. Don Davis said, “This partnership enhances our students’ learning to relate what they’re doing in STEM education in the classroom to where their efforts are paying off - in space.”
Lower, middle and upper school students were given the opportunity to ask Astronaut Christina Koch questions about her time in space ranging from “how do you sleep in space?” to “how is training for a spacewalk different than how you train for a moonwalk?” Astronaut Koch answered each question while defying gravity and relayed an important message to students about “turning fear into focus.” Astronaut Koch noted that while training fully prepared her for a spacewalk, nothing prepared her for being outside the ISS and looking down past her feet to see Earth in the distance.
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, Senator Ted Cruz, SBS Class of ‘88, joined students for the event and pointed out this unique time in history: “...NASA is also in the process of launching the Artemis project. [...] We're going back to the moon but this time we're not only going to send an American to the moon, we're going to send the first woman to the moon.”
NASA played a large role in the event not only enabling the connection with the ISS but bringing the ISS to life for SBS students. NASA representatives were on-hand with virtual reality goggles for students to experience what it is like to be inside the ISS. “Our students are excited about what the future holds for the space program. As teachers, we are excited to connect what they are learning in the classroom to the historic events that will take place in our space program in the next few years with another trip to the moon and potentially Mars,” said science teacher Ana Konuma.
Second Baptist School began this program alongside SBS Parent Chad Brinkley to provide students experiences that further their STEM education. SBS looks forward to continued work with NASA by sending additional experiments and projects into space.