You have another opportunity to speak with space station astronauts. The event is called an In-flight Education Downlink. During a downlink, students can interview astronauts and cosmonauts as they orbit Earth every 90 minutes. The format of the downlink is similar to that of a videoconference. This is the ultimate “ask the expert” experience.
There is currently a call for proposals for an educational downlink with International Space Station Expeditions 29 and 30. These crews are scheduled to be aboard the station between September 2011 and March 2012. To be considered for an event, you must submit an application. NASA’s Teaching From Space Office is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the downlink into a well-developed education plan.
As a part of your plan, you should explain how you currently use NASA materials in the classroom. Since this is a unique opportunity, you should consider inviting members of the community to attend the event. Read an example of two teachers who planned a cross-country downlink event together. They also use DIY Podcast.
Show your involvement with NASA by including how you use DIY Podcast. You might want to use the DIY Podcast topic modules to plan the types of questions you would like your students to ask. If you’ve been perusing the modules and wondered how something works in space, this would be a good time to ask. One key component of the application is to explain how you will use the downlink experience after the event.
I’ve included some links below to articles and videos about downlinks. I hope these help inspire you to apply. Good luck.
For more information, contact the Teaching From Space Office by email
JSC-Teaching-From-Space@mail.nasa.gov or by phone, 281-244-7608.
The deadline to submit a proposal is April 29, 2011.