Form an orderly queue, kids. Same goes for you too, parents! It seems that every budding astronaut’s wildest dreams really have come true. With the new Story Time From Space program you can soon have your bedtime stories read by a real astronaut on the International Space Station.
Story Time From Space was started by educator Patricia Tribe and astronaut Alvin Drew. The pair undertook a pilot program on the last flight of the space shuttle Discovery in 2010, and the response they received was overwhelmingly positive. On the mission, Drew read a space-themed book by author Jeffrey Bennett and the result was later broadcast on YouTube. While that initial reading of Max Goes to the Moon was read from a pdf on a laptop, the project now has the support of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), which has sponsored educational payloads of hard copy books up to the International Space Station (ISS).
The first set of children’s books was sent to the ISS late last year. It consisted of five books by Bennett, who penned a new story especially for the project: Max Goes to the Space Station. While in space, astronauts Mike Hopkins and Koichi Wakata filmed themselves reading these books and the results are looking adorable. The first video is now available online, with the remainder still being edited for the moment and to be released on the Story Time From Space website as they become available (look under their Library tab for updates).
Bennett’s books all have an abundance of multilevel scientific lessons for kids ages three to teens, but to make Story Time From Space even more useful for educators, the astronauts will also conduct and record educational demonstrations designed by veteran Canadian astronaut, Bjarni Tryggvason. These will complement the science concepts found in the Story Time From Space books, providing easy access for educators, families, libraries, science centers and others. Story Time From Space’s principal partner is the ReadWriteThink program, with other partner organizations including T2 Science & Math Education Consultants, Big Kid Science, NASA, QDAC Systems, Education Pathways, CASIS, Moore Arts, the University of Toronto, York University, MILAD Technology, and P&P Optica.
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Lead image by NASA via Flickr