Space Station Explorers Live is a series of live programs that let students interact directly with ISS researchers. Educators and students learn about ongoing ISS research and the range of scientific disciplines being explored in space. Guest researchers describe their work, answer students’ questions, and lead the students in hands-on activities related to the research. Past topics have explored microbes in space and whether cell phones would work in space. Astronauts and STEM advocates also speak at some of these events. Meeting and chatting with these mentors is a rare experience that encourages students to participate in STEM courses and pursue STEM careers.
Past Space Station Explorers Live events served student groups in Florida through partnerships with Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the Astronauts Memorial Foundation. In 2018, the program is expanding to allow broader participation. Events can be organized at schools, colleges, or museums in any city, often in coordination with Space Station Ambassadors. At the venue, an audience of students will meet the guest researcher in person, while on the web, anyone can tune in to a live stream of the presentation. While the researcher leads the hands-on activity at the venue, educators can lead the same activity in their classrooms by following a free lesson plan. Videos and lesson plans will be archived with links to relevant Space Station Explorers programs and other web resources.