To Infinity and Beyond – St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School Students Interview an Astronaut


Twenty students in grades 3- 5 were selected to attend a live interview with an astronaut aboard the Space Station. The live chat took place at Mandelstam, a neighboring school of St. Thomas. Head of School Lillian Issa said, β€œThis collaborative effort was a unique and exciting opportunity for the entire school community to engage in active learning from researchers in space.” Teachers and students who were unable to attend the field trip were able to livestream the event from their classrooms.

Two of the students, Walker Ciorobea and Daniela White, were able to directly engage with Dr. Serena Aunon-Chancellor aboard the International Space Station. Ciorobea asked, β€œWhen you return to earth, does it take a long time for your body to adjust to the gravity on earth?” To which Dr. Aunon-Chancellor replied, β€œThe body is a wonderful thing – it adapts very quickly – our body remembers what earth is like – it remembers how to walk.”

Students were selected based on essays they wrote explaining why they should be chosen to participate. After the interview, all of our students were able to explore an immersive mock space station with simulations that enhanced their scientific curiosity.

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