Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

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Wisconsin students to speak with NASA astronauts aboard space station July 13

Discovery Outreach event connects students and scientists

Jeanan Yasiri Moe
Director of Strategic Communications
[email protected] | (608) 960-9892

MADISON, Wis. – On July 13, hundreds of K-12 students and families from throughout Wisconsin will gather to hear directly from astronauts on the International Space Station through a live video downlink. The 20-minute call from space begins at 10 a.m. (time subject to change).

Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes will introduce the out-of-the world event, which is part of a statewide initiative to provide Wisconsin youth with authentic science experiences.

Many of the students participated in Discovery Outreach programs focused on STEM identity. The programs, which were based on the theme “There’s Space for Everyone in STEM,” highlighted the many ways we’re all connected to science and the opportunities in STEM.

Now, those students can ask astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Aki Hoshide about their experience in STEM.

“Engaging with an astronaut aboard the space station will be an unforgettable experience for youth across Wisconsin, many of whom have faced disruption and hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Erik Iverson, CEO of WARF. “We can now say that the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea – which holds that UW-Madison’s positive influence should touch every family – reaches beyond earth.”

Families and community members throughout Wisconsin and around the world are invited to join the event. How can you participate?

“One of the Morgridge Institute’s goals is to strengthen the connections between basic scientific research and society. This NASA downlink program is one of the most exciting examples of connecting people to the thrill of discovery and the potential of exploratory research,” says Brad Schwartz, CEO of the Morgridge Institute for Research.

The downlink is the highlight of a series of summer camps and workshops hosted by Discovery Outreach, a partnership between WARF and the Morgridge Institute. The events include the Summer Science Workshop Series and STEM Exploration Camp.

“We’re exploring new ways to connect K-12 students to their inner scientists and make science accessible and engaging,” says Laura Heisler, director of programming at WARF. “Having the opportunity to speak directly with astronauts in space and learn about their STEM journeys makes science more relevant.”


About WARF

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) helps steward the cycle of research, discovery, commercialization and investment for the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Founded in 1925 as an independent, nonprofit foundation, WARF manages more than 2,000 patents and an investment portfolio as it funds university research, obtains patents for campus discoveries and licenses inventions to industry. For more information, visit warf.org.

About NASA’s In-Flight Education Downlinks

Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences designed to enhance student learning, performance and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Astronauts living in space on the orbiting laboratory communicate with NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston 24 hours a day through the Space Network’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS).

Follow America’s Moon to Mars exploration at: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/moon-to-mars.

Follow NASA astronauts on social media at: https://www.twitter.com/NASA_astronauts.

See videos and lesson plans highlighting research on the International Space Station at: https://www.nasa.gov/stemonstation.