BISD Students Speak with Astronaut in Space

Brazosport ISD Students to Speak with Astronaut on the ISS via Amateur Radio—OCTOBER 10, 2016
Posted on 09/30/2016
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Brazosport Independent School District students will soon have the opportunity to speak with a NASA astronaut living and working aboard the International Space Station.

Monday, October 10, 2016

9:45 AM Event Begins
11:20 AM Media to Interview Students
11:46 AM ISS Transmission Begins (approximate)
12:15 PM Media to Interview Students for follow-up questions

Location: Brazosport College
Dow Academic Center
500 College Drive
Lake Jackson, TX 77566
(979) 230-3000
​​Look for the Blue Parking Lot

Can't make it in person, join us for the LIVE Broadcast here!

BISD, Brazosport College, and the NASA Johnson Space Center Amateur Radio Club (JSCARC) have teamed up to arrange a contact between the International Space Station and students from Stephen F. Austin STEM Academy. Funds for the event are provided through a grant by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) written by Lisa Neasbitt, the contact will take place on October 10, 2016 and will be hosted at the Dow Academic Center. Supported through a telebridge contact, students will talk with the astronaut onboard the International Space Station after lessons delivered by the JSCARC to familiarize students with amateur radio. Students will be asking between 10 and 15 questions formulated before the event with approximately one minute per student for each question and answer from the astronaut.

Students will be exposed to NASA research, college career investigations, and amateur radio operations to encourage students to voice their thoughts, raise questions, and explore ideas. The contact and experience with Brazosport College, amateur radio operators, NASA, the ISS, and astronauts will not only enrich the students and school, but the community as a whole.

We invite you to witness and join the event in order to bring enrichment to the students through delivering career investigations, opportunities for engagement, supplemental literature, or inspirational speeches. These experiences will support not only the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills learning standards based curriculum, but promote career investigations, and the natural creativity and curiosity that children innately hold; building on the strengths and interests of the students. We anticipate your engagement will surface student motivation through sparking attention to future goals, nurture strengths, and change perceptions for students through support, involvement, and building relationships.

The event will be broadcasted through a live stream in order to bring more students to the transmission. Brazosport ISD and Brazosport College will record the event and support the photography of the contact.

Proposed questions submitted by students of SFA STEM Academy (formerly known as Stephen F. Austin Elementary School):​

  1. What dream or desire did you have that made you want to be an astronaut?
  2. How long did you have to train before going to the ISS?
  3. Is it more important to be physically or mentally prepared for outer space?
  4. What happens if a crew member needs medical attention not available on the ISS?
  5. What is the most challenging part about staying on the ISS?
  6. What is the most important thing astronauts do to help the Earth?
  7. What happens to your bones when you return to Earth?
  8. What do you find most interesting about space?
  9. What do you do if something, such as a meteorite, hits the ISS?
  10. Does blood rush to your head when you are upside down, and how does it feel?
  11. How does living and working in space affect your life upon returning home?
  12. Do you ever get motion sickness with having less gravity in space?
  13. Do you ever lose power on the ISS, and if so how do you regain it?
  14. What kind of degrees do you have to have to be an astronaut.
  15. ​H​ow does your body react when you come back to Earth?
  16. How do you shower on the ISS?
  17. What happens if something malfunctions like the tracking system or radio on the ISS?
  18. How does your job from the ISS continue once you return to Earth?
  19. What is the coolest thing you have done in space?
  20. What sensations do you notice when you first return to Earth?
  21. What do you do in your spare time on the ISS?
  22. What experiments do you do on the ISS?
  23. How does NASA or other space agencies send satellites into space?
  24. How many hours does it take for a satellite to orbit the Earth?
  25. What’s the longest time you can be in space before it hurts your body too much?
  26. What are the different jobs you can do in space?
  27. What is the point of going to the ISS?
  28. Does the food you eat help your bones stay strong?
  29. How do you collect samples of things in space and bring them back to Earth?
  30. What kind of people make good astronauts?
  31. Are there ever animals on the ISS?

A little about the ARISS team…

Stephen F. Austin STEM Academy, formerly Stephen F. Austin Elementary School, named after the Father of Texas, serves the Jones Creek, Texas area. Austin Elementary, "The Pride of Jones Creek," is a Pre-K through 6th grade school, the only one in the Brazosport Independent School District. There are many goals teachers and administrators would like to achieve with our students. At the campus level we endeavor to assure that every child learns the curriculum set up by the District and State. We also strive to prepare all students for the experience they will encounter at the Intermediate level. Our ultimate goal is to nurture students into productive, prepared, and highly functional citizens. We strongly believe that all children can learn, given the proper time and resources. We assess, reteach if necessary, provide enrichment, conduct daily maintenance, and continually monitor and adjust to ensure quality learning.

Located on 156 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds in Lake Jackson, Texas, Brazosport College has served as the school of choice for students in southern Brazoria County since 1968. Brazosport College offers a four-year degree program in Industrial Management and Health Services Management. BC also offers two-year degree and certificate options in a variety of career fields, as well as courses in major fields of study, which will transfer to four-year schools. The health care program at BC offers ADN and LVN opportunities. The Brazosport College campus has expanded in recent years. Additions include the BASF Center for Process Technology, the Dow Academic Center, the Byron & Sandra Sadler Health Professions/ Science Complex, a new Student Pavilion, a revitalized library and, most recently, the Freeport LNG Crafts Academy. With its growth has come a variety of accolades. In 2012 and 2014, the Aspen Institute ranked Brazosport College among the top 10 community colleges in the nation. Other awards include Safest College Campus in Texas, as well as a Top 10 Beautiful Yet Affordable College Campus in the nation. The College’s continued commitment to student success drives initiatives to assist students in attaining their goals. Partnership programs between the college, community and local industry leaders are steered by the Brazosport College Foundation to help ensure student success. For more information on Brazosport College please visit

The Brazosport Independent School District, established in 1944, encompasses 200 square miles in Brazoria County, Texas: 8 municipalities (Clute, Freeport, Jones Creek, Lake Jackson, Oyster Creek, Quintana, Richwood and Surfside Beach) and is comprised of 11 elementary, 2 middle, 3 intermediate and 2 high schools. Currently BISD serves over 12,000 students and has been projected to exceed 13,000 over the next seven years due to growth in the community. Accredited by the Texas Education Agency, the district provides a quality education for pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Also provided are special education programs for preschool age children and a career and technology education program on the secondary level. Please visit for more information on the BISD mission and vision.

The Johnson Space Center Amateur Radio Club, located at NASA's Johnson Space Center, 25 miles southeast of downtown Houston, Texas. The club membership is made up of NASA and Contractor employees based in and around the Johnson Space Center. The club is very active in various aspects of the amateur radio hobby: On-the-air ragchewing, DX'ing, Contesting, Satellites and Public Service. The members frequently support the numerous public service activities conducted around the space center: fun runs, walk-a-thons, bicycle rides, parades, etc., which are conducted in the Clear Lake area. Please visit the JSCARC website at to learn more.

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program was created and is managed by an international consortium of amateur radio organizations and space agencies including National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the USA, Rosavia Kosmos in Russia, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in Canada, Japan Aeronautics Exploration Space Agency (JAXA) in Japan and European Space Agency (ESA) in Europe. The organization is run by volunteers from the national amateur radio organizations and the international AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) organizations from each country. Since ARISS is international in scope, the team coordinates locally with their respective space agency and as an international team through ARISS working group meetings, teleconferences and webinars. ARISS inspires students, worldwide, to pursue interests and careers in science, technology, engineering and math through amateur radio communications opportunities with the International Space Station (ISS) on-orbit crew. Students learn about life on board the ISS and explore Earth from space through science and math activities. ARISS provides opportunities for the school community (students, teachers, families and community members) to become more aware of the substantial benefits of human spaceflight and the exploration and discovery that occur on spaceflight journeys. Students have the opportunity to learn about space technologies and the technologies involved with space communications through exploration of amateur radio.

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