Science isn’t the only subject launching to the International Space Station (ISS) National Lab on SpaceX’s 17th commercial resupply services (CRS) mission next week. Strong reading skills are crucial for young learners, and five new books are headed to the ISS as part of the Space Station Explorers partner program Story Time From Space. This unique program aims to both increase literacy and engage students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
Through Story Time From Space, students are able to watch videos of astronauts reading STEM-themed books from inside the space station. Crew members also film videos onboard the ISS of science demonstrations related to the science themes in the books. All videos, along with accompanying educational materials, are available on the Story Time From Space website for free.
One of the books launching on SpaceX CRS-17 is Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader, by popular author Emily Calandrelli (also known as SpaceGal), who is host and producer of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space. The story is about an eight-year-old girl who enjoys science, math, and solving mysteries with technology. This young inventor’s latest project is to fix an amateur radio, something she can use to contact people who live across town—or possibly even beings outside of Earth! This book is also special because it will be the first chapter book to be read in its entirety by astronauts onboard the ISS.
Another book launching is Willow the Water Bear, by Houston T. Kidd, a unique story about a tardigrade, a tiny—almost microscopic—animal that is a close relative of insects and is nearly indestructible. Willow, the tardigrade in the story, is on a mission to become a be a real superhero; however, as her teacher points out, she may already be one! As Willow travels through the forest, the Antarctic, deep into the ocean, and even to the moon, she discovers just how unique she truly is.
Prior to the SpaceX CRS-17 launch, visitors at Kennedy Space Center will get the ultimate treat—a special book signing with Calandrelli and Kidd. The book signing will be held at the Atlantis exhibit on Tuesday, April 30 at 11 a.m. The launch is currently scheduled for no earlier than Friday, May 3.
To learn more about Story Time From Space, please visit https://www.spacestationexplorers.org/educational-programs/storytimefromspace/.