July 14, 2011

Final Shuttle Crew Answers Student Questions From Space

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Space shuttle astronauts aboard the International Space Station will answer videotaped questions from middle school students participating in NASA's Summer of Innovation initiative. The event is scheduled to air live on NASA Television at 7:09 a.m. EDT on Sunday, July 17.

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During the broadcast, viewers will see shuttle Atlantis Commander Chris Ferguson and Pilot Doug Hurley as they respond to approximately 20 student questions selected from nearly 150 videos. The student videos also will air during the event.

The Summer of Innovation program seeks to advance excellence in summer and extended learning programming for underrepresented and underserved middle school students while inspiring them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The initiative also is tied closely to the White House's "Educate to Innovate" campaign.

"Learning about scientific principles and the impact of space on astronauts' bodies helps spark student curiosity," said Cindy McArthur, Teaching From Space project manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "Microgravity is a unique research environment and hearing directly from astronauts who live and work in it can inspire students to study STEM disciplines."

The question-and-answer session is part of a series with educational organizations in the United States and abroad to improve teaching and learning in STEM subjects. It is an integral component of Teaching From Space, an agency program promoting learning opportunities, and builds partnerships with the education community.

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