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Buffalo State to Host Radio Q&A with International Space Station Astronaut

Buffalo State to Host Radio Q&A with International Space Station Astronaut

Posted: February 26, 2016

Buffalo State’s Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium will help students from Harvey Austin Elementary School PS97 connect with the International Space Station (ISS)  for a live question and answer session with a NASA astronaut.

The out-of-this-world radio connection with astronaut Timothy Kopra (pictured left) will take place at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1, in Buckham Hall (D-Wing). The 10-to-15 minute connection between the ISS and Buffalo State will allow for about a dozen students from PS97 to ask questions of the astronaut.

“We are honored and privileged to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience for the students from PS97,” said Kevin Williams, director of the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium and associate professor of earth sciences and science education.

To prepare for the contact, the students at PS97 are engaged in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-intensive curriculum, learning about NASA research aboard the ISS, investigating college careers in STEM, and learning about amateur radio and public speaking from the Lancaster Amateur Radio Club (LARC).

"These experiences will support not only New York standards-based curriculum, but promote career investigations and the natural creativity and curiosity that children innately hold; building on the strengths and interests of these bright and curious students," says Eric J. Cooper, president and founder of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education (NUA), which helped spearhead this rare contact between a public school and astronauts in space. "The contact and experience with SUNY Buffalo State, amateur radio operators, NASA, the ISS, and astronauts will not only enrich the students and school, but the community as a whole.”

Photos: Courtesy of NASA/

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