LOUISVILLE, Ky. (July 18, 2019) – The National Stem Cell Foundation (NSCF), in partnership with the City of Louisville, announced today that teachers, students and fans of education and space worldwide will have an opportunity this fall to watch astronauts on the International Space Station talk live to Kentucky students. The conversation will take place from the stage of the four-story digital theater at the Kentucky Science Center and will stream live globally on NASA TV.
NSCF was awarded a highly competitive NASA downlink for its National STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Scholar Program, a partnership with The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science on the campus of Western Kentucky University. The astronauts will answer questions submitted by students in 40 Scholar classrooms in 23 states. The questions will be asked by student representatives from the six Scholar classrooms in Kentucky.
“We are delighted by the opportunity to bring this lifetime educational event to Louisville – and to students everywhere who will see the downlink stream live globally from Louisville on NASA TV,” said Paula Grisanti, CEO of the National Stem Cell Foundation. “The National STEM Scholar Program funds advanced STEM training and network building for middle school science teachers inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers. The downlink award is confirmation of the program’s significant reach and impact.”
The live downlink can be accessed anywhere in the world at https://www.NASA.gov/nasatv on Thursday, September 12 at 10:30 am EDT. A recording will be available after that date on NASA’s YouTube channel.
“While Louisville is known for many things—Churchill Downs, Muhammad Ali, and our great food and beverage scene—we are also doing great things when it comes to engaging kids in science, technology, engineering and math, as part of our community efforts to build the workforce of the future,” said City of Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher. “And it’s very exciting to have that acknowledged by the folks at NASA.”
“We may not know what the next generation of jobs will look like, but we know that critical thinking is key. By teaching 21st-century skills, we are best preparing our children for the workforce of the future,” said Jo Haas, CEO of the Kentucky Science Center. “We love to Do Science everywhere, including in outer space. Innovative, interactive programs like NASA’s in-flight education downlinks really have the potential to get our students interested in STEM, which helps insure that these children will develop a lifetime love of learning.”
The National Stem Cell Foundation has also been a leader in funding innovative adult stem cell and regenerative medicine research. This Sunday, July 21, a bi-coastal research team funded by NSCF will be launching the first brain organoids to study neurodegenerative disease in microgravity to the International Space Station onboard SpaceX 18. This is a preliminary flight in preparation for a first-in-kind study of patient-derived human 3-D models of Parkinson’s disease and progressive MS scheduled to launch to the space station later this fall.
About the National Stem Cell Foundation
The National Stem Cell Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that funds adult stem cell and regenerative medicine research, connects children with limited resources to clinical trials for rare diseases and sponsors a scholarship program for middle school science teachers inspiring the next generation of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) pioneers nationwide. For more information, visit nationalstemcellfoundation.org.
About Kentucky Science Center (KYScienceCenter.org)
Kentucky Science Center is a nonprofit educational institution that encourages people of all ages to do science in engaging, educational and entertaining ways to inspire a lifetime of learning. Designated the “State Science Center of Kentucky” by the 2002 Kentucky General Assembly, Kentucky Science Center features interactive exhibits and engaging programs for children, families and adults. Kentucky Science Center is committed to growing a scientifically literate community that investigates, questions, and challenges.