The Fayette County Public Library is offering and out-of-this-world opportunity to local students.
Students ages 5 and up will get the chance to speak live with an astronaut at the International Space Station on Monday, June 19 thanks to a NASA educational program.
As part of their Summer Reading Program, Fayette County Public Library successfully applied to host a NASA In-Flight Education Downlink which allows educational organizations like libraries and schools to host virtual meetings with astronauts. Students converse with the astronauts and learn about science, technology, engineering, and math concepts “in ways that are impossible on Earth,” according to the NASA website. This year’s Summer Reading Program theme is “Build a Better World,” and the library will offer engaging and fun activities for all ages through July 22.
“Our library strives to offer the best programs to our patrons by creating unique experiences like the NASA In-flight Education Downlink. We are so excited to call into the International Space Station and speak with Astronaut Jack ‘2fish’ Fischer and learn about his expedition and allow students to ask questions,” said Christeen Snell, Library Director.
The library is proud to have Eric Maxwell, Chairman of the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, on the program and Dr. Valerie Camille Jones, Math Specialist at the Ron Clark Academy and Presidential Math Awardee, as the program’s emcee.
Jack D. Fischer (Colonel, U.S. Air Force) was selected by NASA in July 2009. Prior to becoming an astronaut, he graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Astronautical Engineering and holds a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is currently a part of the Expedition 51/52 crew that launched to the International Space Station in April 2017.
Students from Fayette County and surrounding areas selected to ask questions submitted their questions to the library in advance. Submitted questions show a curiosity about eating, drinking, waste elimination and mission aboard the International Space Station.
Following the Downlink event, the library will feature a presentation on the Solar System from Dr. Scott Harris with Fernbank Science Center, 2D virtual tour of the International Space Station, STEM activities for all ages and hot dogs and refreshments sponsored by Niagara Bottling Company.
The 20-minute virtual program will be broadcast live on NASA TV at 11:45 a.m., and anyone interested and not able to attend will be able to stream the event.
The Fayette County Public Library is located behind the Fayette County administration complex in downtown Fayetteville, at the southwest corner of Highways 85 and 54. For additional information, please contact the library at 770-461-8841.