Each year, the International Space Station Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC), hosted by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), NASA, and the American Astronautical Society, awards individuals who have pushed the boundaries of space-based research.
Patricia Tribe, founder of the nonprofit Global Space Education Foundation, was awarded a 2020 ISSRDC award for innovation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Due to the pandemic last year, all ISSRDC 2020 awards were presented during ISSRDC 2021.
NASA astronauts have an exciting way to capture children’s imaginations through reading, thanks to Patricia Tribe and the Global Space Education Foundation’s Story Time From Space program.
Since 2014, Tribe and the Story Time From Space team have sent children’s books to the International Space Station (ISS), where astronauts record themselves reading to kids on Earth. Story Time From Space, a Space Station Explorers partner program, has proven a fun and successful way of engaging school-age children with reading and science. Recordings of astronauts reading the books, accessible at no cost through the program’s website, have reached millions of children in the United States and abroad through the Global Space Education Foundation’s education partners.
The books—hand-selected by Tribe for strict scientific accuracy—are carefully chosen to spark interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics, often with a special focus on space.
Over the years, Tribe has further innovated the program through the addition of educational curriculums and Science Time From Space videos, scientific demonstrations recorded by astronauts that complement the concepts found in the books. Story Time From Space is one of the first and longest-lasting STEM education programs supported by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.