NASA comes to school, thanks to video conferencing

Thursday, November 18 2010

Elementary school students in Westerville, Ohio, got to take a trip to a NASA research center recently, without leaving the comfort of their hometown.

More than 100 students from Longfellow Elementary visited the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland recently thanks to video conferencing technology, reports Columbus Local News. The children gathered after school in the Westerville Central High School auditorium to hear NASA technical coordinator David Mazza talk about the mysteries of outer space.

Mazza answered questions from first-, second- and third-graders during the interactive event. They were curious about the characteristics of planets, the history of our solar system and the types of objects orbiting the sun.

One child asked about living on the moon, and Mazza was able to quickly queue up a video clip of a moon landing, while he discussed what it might be like to eat, sleep and move around under little gravity.

"The ability to have that kind of interaction is truly priceless," Longfellow principal Scott Ebbrecht told the newspaper.

The program was organized by the Longfellow PTA and was part of the Glenn Research Center's Learning Technologies Project. The project lost funding in 2004, but is back to teaching children.