KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), July 23, 2019 – The International Space Station Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC) is proud to announce a panel focused on the history of student experimentation in low Earth orbit that will take place on Thursday, August 1 at 11:15 a.m. EDT. The session, From Skylab to the ISS – 45 Years of Student Space Experiments, will bring together student researchers from different generations to discuss the importance of pushing the limits of science beyond traditional classroom settings.
Skylab was America’s first space station, launching into low Earth orbit in 1973 and serving as a microgravity and medical lab, an observation platform, and a home in the sky. During its time orbiting the Earth, Skylab hosted more than 300 experiments, including a historic first—25 experiments designed and built by high school students. Jumping 45 years to current times, the International Space Station (ISS) has hosted hundreds of student investigations and demonstrations, many of which have been sponsored by the U.S. National Laboratory. Through this ISSRDC session, the two generations of student investigators will converge on stage to discuss how these powerful experiences have impacted their lives.
The session will be moderated by former astronaut and former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. Original Skylab astronaut Jerry Carr will join the session by Skype. Together, they will discuss the important role that Skylab played in paving the way for science in low Earth orbit. Additionally, panelists will highlight the critical role our present-day space station plays by engaging the next generation of scientists and engineers through multiple avenues and collaborations, reaching millions of students in the process.
ISS National Lab Senior Education Manager Dan Barstow will participate in the session, providing examples of student engagement opportunities available on the space station that provide valuable science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational experiences. According to Barstow, “The International Space Station has revolutionized educational access to space. We know that has power—not just for developing STEM knowledge and skills but also for changing students’ concepts of themselves as space explorers and participants in this grand adventure. And now we see from the Skylab students that the impact still reverberates in their lives 45 years later. That’s true educational power.”
For those unable to attend in person, this panel, along with all main sessions for ISSRDC, will be livestreamed. To learn more about the conference, including how to follow the livestream, please visit: www.issconference.org.
# # #
About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the ISS as the nation’s newest national laboratory to optimize its use for improving quality of life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by non-NASA U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The ISS National Lab manages access to the permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space.
# # #