Kids at Illinois Library Will Interview Astronaut in Space (and You Can Live-stream)

Libraries are invited to join Gail Borden Public Library (Elgin, Ill.) as it hosts a 20-minute virtual conversation with an astronaut at the International Space Station. 

Update (7/14/16): Watch a video of the NASA In-Flight Education Downlink held by Gail Borden Public Library on June 30.)

Jeff Williams at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
Astronaut Jeff Williams will answer questions from students about life in space thanks to a NASA program and ALA traveling exhibition. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Students in grades 2-5 will gather at the Gail Borden Public Library to interview astronaut Jeff Williams through a NASA In-Flight Education Downlink on June 30 at 11:35 a.m. EDT / 10:35 a.m. CDT*. Libraries can stream the live event from NASA TV on June 30. 

The In-Flight Education Downlink inspires students to learn about STEM concepts “in ways that are impossible on Earth,” according to NASA’s website. Williams, who has been a NASA astronaut since 1996, is expected to set a U.S. record during his current mission for the most cumulative days in space. Students at the Gail Borden Public Library have already prepared some questions for him, which range from space food to shuttle preparation.

“We are all so excited to be speaking with astronaut Jeff Williams because he is so experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to the International Space Station,” said Denise Raleigh, division chief of public relations and development at the library. “Our kids are fascinated to learn what life is like for the astronauts, and we’re proud to be able to provide this kind of once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Following the Downlink event, Gail Borden Public Library will video-conference with Elgin native Hal Getzelman, the International Space Station’s “capsule communicator,” from NASA headquarters in Houston.  

The NASA Downlink program is part of the library’s Discover Space: A Cosmic Journey, a traveling exhibition offered by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office in partnership with the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Afterschool Alliance. Gail Borden Public Library is one of eight public libraries to host the exhibit, which was made possible through the support of the National Science Foundation.

To learn more about hosting a NASA In-Flight Education Downlink at your library, visit NASA's website.


* Please note that the start time may shift by up to 10 minutes to accommodate last-minute changes in the astronaut’s schedule. We recommend logging on at 11:25 a.m. EDT / 10:25 a.m. CDT.