Batesville students talk to astronaut on International Space Station

Updated: Jan. 31, 2018 at 5:33 PM CST
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(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Some Batesville elementary students got the chance to speak to an astronaut aboard the International Space Station Wednesday morning.

The kindergarten through sixth-grade students who gathered in the auditorium was very excited for the opportunity to learn more about life in space.

Central Magnet Math and Science Elementary School is one of just 13 schools in the country that will get to talk to the space station this year.

School Resource Officer Lt. Cord Davidson is an amateur radio operator and knew about NASA's program, so he filled out an application for the school.

"I had to go through an application process that was similar to writing a grant," Lt. Davidson said. "We had to set up lesson plans with our teachers and we've been focusing on space travel and the International Space Station leading up to this event."

Ten students communicated with astronaut Scott Tingle from an amateur radio on the ISS, which was over Europe at the time.

The astronauts' HAM radio signal was transmitted to a ground station in Italy, then through a telephone hookup to Batesville.

"It's to encourage STEM, which is science technology engineering and mathematics, in schools because hopefully, this will serve as some inspiration to our students that one day they can have in a space-related field," Davidson said.

"I liked this experience," student Alexander Tenace said.

Alexander asked what it was like sleeping in space and said he was surprised that Tingle said it was pretty comfortable.

Another student who asked questions, Elizabeth Williams, said it was amazing.

Students got 18 of their 20 questions answered before the space station moved out of range.

Several different classes composed the questions and teachers chose who got to ask them through an essay contest.

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