Elizabeth Public Schools’ Students To Talk To NASA Scientists

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ELIZABETH – Students at Dr. Albert Einstein Academy School No. 29 are scheduled to speak with Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas this morning. Through a partnership with NASA, students will be able to ask questions of a Mission Control Flight Officer through an established Distance Learning Network (DLN). They will also witness the inner workings of the International Space Station’s (ISS) mission control.

Michele Perchonok, Ph.D., an Advanced Food Technology Project Scientist, will be the guest speaker for this conference. Dr. Perchonok works in a food lab developing space food that will be packaged for astronauts. Additional Flight Control Officers specializing in life support, power, data/communications and robotics will also be on hand to speak with students.

Before students connect with Mission Control, a DLN education specialist will spend approximately 30 minutes highlighting the many science, technology, engineering, and math concepts that are important aboard the International Space Station.

As a NASA Explorer School, Dr. Albert Einstein Academy’s students have been utilizing video-conferencing equipment to connect with NASA sites all over the country – including Goddard Space Flight Center, Kennedy Space Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. So far, these video conference sessions have involved over 150 of School 29’s K-8 students and their teachers and explored such topics as the history of rockets, solar power, the solar system, and exploring the lunar surface.

“The NASA Distance Learning sessions are dynamic in making real-world connections for students who can see and hear how science and math is applied through NASA technology and explorations,” commented Principal Linda Seniszyn.

Elizabeth Board of Education member Carlos Trujillo said, “Making use of the technology of video conferencing provides valuable educational experiences for the students of Elizabeth. He added, “We are proud of our continued partnership with NASA, since 2007, which enables this unique method of learning.”

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