Stillwater News Press

November 29, 2012

Stillwater sixth-graders will get a taste of space Friday

By Mark Rountree
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Stillwater Middle School sixth-graders will be taking a voyage to space Friday — at least virtually.

Oklahoma State University’s College of Education and NASA Education Projects will host an International Space Station downlink with NASA Expedition 34 for sixth-graders from Stillwater Middle School on Friday at the Wes Watkins Center Exhibit Hall.

Approximately 450 students will have direct communication with NASA astronaut and mission commander Kevin Ford, asking questions about life in the space station. Ford is serving on the space station with two mission specialists from Russia.

Live video of Ford in the space station will be shown on a large projector screen inside the exhibit hall. Students will be able to see and hear Ford, but he will only be able to hear them.

“The purpose of this is to utilize the International Space Station as an educational tool for students,” OSU professor Steve Marks said. “Com. Ford will be floating up there, with a microphone in his hand and answering questions from the students.”

The program begins at 11 a.m. and will be streamed live at

Quinn Baldwin, library media specialist at Stillwater Middle School, will serve as emcee and Brian Hawkins, NASA education specialist, will talk to the students about what it’s like to live in space prior to the start of the 20-minute downlink, which begins at 11:30 a.m.

In addition to live streaming the event, additional NASA educational content will be available on Friday. Schools and teachers around the state and beyond are invited to participate by watching the downlink live. The downlink will also be available on NASA TV.