One of the longest running, most successful education programs sponsored by the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory is going live for the first time! Story Time From Space is a project of the Global Space Education Foundation, wherein children’s books have been launched to the orbiting laboratory since 2014. Once those books reach the space station, astronauts (usually) videoed themselves reading these books, to engage students back home on Earth.
Over the years, multiple astronauts have taped dozens of books being read onboard the ISS, and along the way engaged with millions of young students around the world. Some of these books have been written by famous authors and personalities, such as Senator (and former NASA astronaut) Mark Kelly, famed children’s authors Jeffrey Bennett and Andrea Beaty, actor LeVar Burton, space and science communicator Emily Calandrelli, and many others!
Many of these books have science themes, and crew members often also film videos onboard the ISS of science demonstrations related to the science in the books. All videos, along with accompanying educational materials, are available on the Story Time From Space website for free.
As the world was impacted through the COVID-19 pandemic, many homes within the United States moved to virtual platforms for learning with students. During this time, Story Time From Space became a heavily featured ISS National Lab program that helped to link astronauts, children, and learning in one sitting—reaching almost 2 million students, educators, and adults in 2020. Additionally, educators were able to leverage science curriculum from many of these stories to further hands-on learning applications. To learn more about additional in-home learning programs and opportunities sponsored by the ISS National Lab, visit our STEM Learn-at-Home webpage.
After years of astronauts videoing Story Time From Space book readings onboard the ISS, Tuesday, January 26 at 12 p.m. ET, students and teachers have the ability to witness a live broadcast transmission of NASA astronaut Shannon Walker reading Willow the Water Bear, authored by Houston T. Kidd. Join this live event to hear Walker read of the adventures of Willow the Water Bear, who seeks to survive in extreme environments–very similar to conditions astronauts face while living and working in space! Upon conclusion of Walker’s read-along, Story Time From Space will host a follow-up session featuring the author, scientists, and additional former astronauts to highlight the impact of this unique educational program.
The ISS National Lab has identified education as one of its core lines of business. Programs within our education efforts include launching student payloads, developing curriculum and learning resources based on traditional research on the ISS, and furthering workforce development for the next generation of explorers, scientists, and engineers! To learn more about how the ISS serves as a powerful platform for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, please visit our Space Station Explorers page—and in the meantime, tune in for the first-ever live reading of Story Time From Space!
LIVE downlink with NASA astronaut Shannon Walker reading Story Time From Space children’s book Willow the Water Bear
12:00 p.m. EST