Dr. Robert Satcher Jr.: Presentation to Engineering Academy middle-school students (2021)

Dr. Robert Satcher Jr. ['86, PhD '93], former NASA astronaut, zoomed into the Engineering Academy classes to speak to the students about his experiences in space, what inspired him to be an astronaut, and what he believes space exploration can teach us. The students had an opportunity to ask Dr. Satcher several of their own questions and learn about his experiences in the International Space Station and his medical investigations. In addition to being an astronaut, Dr. Satcher is also a medical doctor and holds a Ph.D. The information from this live presentation helped the students to not only learn about space exploration but also about global collaborations.

The students in the middle school engineering academy designed their own space stations around the driving question of “How can space exploration help us to solve a problem on Earth.” Part of their assignment was to develop a way that exploration could solve a current issue. Students spent time researching and discussing current issues and events in class. They also studied the history of space flight and the International Space Station. Using Minecraft Education, students learned about the different features of spaceships and the ISS and developed their own. Interviewing experts in the field provides students with hands-on first-person accounts from experts. This is a necessary aspect of Project-Based Learning and it engages our students. They connected with Dr. Satcher and no doubt our students will reach for the stars.

Some of the questions asked by our students directly to Dr. Satcher were:

  • What made you want to be an astronaut and how old were you on your first flight?
  • What would you do if you entered space and felt sick?
  • Did you feel safe on the International Space Station?
  • What was it like to be inside the airlock?
  • If you could change anything on the ISS, including the design or functions, what would it be?

Watch the video to see how Dr. Satcher answered our students' probing questions.

Rethink K12 Education, Yonkers Public Schools, July 2021

Timeline: 2020s
School: School of Engineering
Department: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Career: EducationEngineeringHealth & MedicineTechnologyTransportation
Object: Video
Collection: NASA, Rising Voices 1995-Present, Robert L. Satcher, Jr., STEM Education, Talks