Mission Completed: 
Tuesday October 2, 2018: 

Claiborne Pell Elementary School, Newport, RI
Holds Rhode Island's
1st Elementary School "Space Chat"

In connection with "World Space Week," 17 lucky students from Claiborne Pell Elementary School (Newport, RI) posed their questions to an orbiting astronaut aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. The student Q&A began at 1:46PM and can be viewed here.

As the space station travels by at 17,500 mph, 17 students made history by participating in Rhode Island's first-ever, elementary school space chat with astronaut "Ricky" Arnold who was aboard ISS Expedition 56.  

The goal was to ignite early interest in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM) which can open the doors to stimulating, rewarding careers right here in the Ocean State.   For example, did you know that there are currently thousands of unfilled, high-paying career opportunities within two hours of the center of the state, but that these opportunities require strong "hard" and "soft" skills?  Early exposure to STEAM problems in school is a great way to build these needed skills. 

May 2016 ARISS event logo

This rare school-to-space radio contact gives Rhode Island students the opportunity to dream big and expand their interests in science, technology, engineering, art/design, and math (STEAM). 

This space chat brings together the sciences with the arts.

ISS Event

Since 2001 international space agencies have partnered with  amateur radio organizations to connect schools from around the world with orbiting astronauts via amateur radio contact. 

Many adult volunteers from the Rhode Island amateur radio community will be involved in helping with this complex undertaking. Volunteers from Rhode Island STEAM Academy brought this opportunity forward, guided critical aspects of the proposal effort, and are managing key aspects of the project. 

ISS event logo

According to the 2016 Brookings report given to Gov Raimondo, Rhode Island' needs a much larger STEAM-skilled talent pool in order to attract and grow 21st Century advanced industries.  STEM and STEAM were mentioned no less than 80 times in the Brookings report.