Students sitting to speak with the astronaut

Students at Belmont Elementary School recently had an opportunity to speak directly with Dr. Jeanette Epps, a mission specialist, aboard the space station. Thanks to the school’s radio club and Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), students used amateur “ham” radio to ask Dr. Epps questions about life in space.

“As a SpaceX fan, it's very amazing. And I was elated we managed to get to do this stuff in the school,” said Hayden, a student. “It's just basically amazing.”

Kathy Lamont, a gifted education teacher, shared that it was a student-led effort to organize the talk. “I hope that the students really were able to see that they could organize things. They could put things together and learn hard things, which is really what space exploration is.”

Over 200 questions were submitted by students at Belmont, which were then vetted down to 17 due to the short window of time the students could talk with Dr. Epps.

“This is a once-in-a-life chance, and you shouldn't take it for granted,” said Alexandra, another student.

ARRISS is an organization that aims to connect students directly with crew members of the international space station with hopes to inspire the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers.

View the recorded conversation.