On December 6th, Snyder-Girotti Elementary School was one of twenty schools selected from a nationwide pool of applicants to interact in a live
broadcast with NASA. Always excited to expose and teach young minds about space and space exploration, the NASA broadcasters wanted to explain a new type of space station known as “The Gateway.” Linking S‑G students directly to astronauts provided a unique, authentic experience designed to enhance student learning, performance and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Under the direction of educator Mary Gesualdi and the technical support and assistance of IT director, Paul Hetherington, the elementary school set up a live feed and a high definition camera enabling students to ask questions directly to the NASA engineers. In preparation for the event, organizations and schools participating in the interactive experience were provided with specific questions to inform viewers and participants about the mechanics of the space station, who will staff The Gateway, and future missions. Students at Snyder-Girotti questioned the ability of The Gateway to recycle air and water for humans who will spend extended time in space.
Once finished, The Gateway will be the first permanent human spaceship in orbit around the Moon. The Gateway will be a part-time home and office for astronauts farther in space than humans have ever been before. Snyder- Girotti students especially enjoyed receiving a shout out from a Philadelphia native and current NASA engineer.