Stillwater News Press

November 30, 2012

Stillwater sixth-graders say talking with astronaut in space is cool

By Mark Rountree
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Stillwater Middle School sixth-grade students asked questions about life in space with international space station mission commander Kevin Ford during a live NASA downlink for 30 minutes Friday at the Wes Watkins Center Exhibit Hall.

Approximately 450 sixth-grade students attended the event which was streamed live on OStateTV.

“This was a very interesting, unique experience,” said Carson Scott, one of 16 students to ask a question. “We did Skype with the soldiers recently, but this person was in space.”

Scott said the experience will increase his interest in the science, technology, math, engineering fields.

“It was cool to see him and talk with him,” said sixth-grader Sadie Baumann. “So cool, I mean, I really got the sense that we were talking with a person in space.”

Ford said living and working in the space station “is a surreal experience.”

As he was saying goodbye to the students, Ford did a slow head over heels flip in the zero-gravity space station.

Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis made a surprise visit at the end of the event.

“Wow, how cool is this?” Hargis said. “This is about the coolest thing I’ve seen around here.”

Hargis said that OStateTV received approximately 6,500 unique visitors during the broadcast.