Students encouraged to submit questions for NASA in-flight response

Tech’s Millard Oakley STEM Center and NASA are inviting students from kindergarten to college to participate in the Soaring Eagle Question Contest. Winners will be invited to ask International Space Station astronauts their questions during the NASA Inflight Education Downlink on Wednesday, Nov. 18.Contestants should submit unique questions related to working in microgravity conditions.

“Students need to ask the astronauts questions that will allow them to demonstrate something they can only do while in space,” said Monica Greppin, Tech’s associate vice president for communications and marketing.

Students will be divided into four age groups: kindergarten to fourth grade, fifth to eighth grade, ninth to twelfth grade and college.

A judging team from Tech will blindly select 30 questions from each age group and rank them.

The top five questions in each age group will be sent to NASA for review. The top 20 students-five from each age group-will sit on stage and ask the astronauts their questions.

Questions are due Sunday, Oct. 25 and can be submitted through an online entry form located at www.tntech.edu/stem. They will be reviewed by Wednesday, Oct. 28, and invitations to attend the downlink will be issued Thursday, Oct. 29.

Confirmation of auditorium seating is due to Sally Pardue by Friday, Nov. 6. An adult must accompany kindergarten to twelfth grade students to the downlink.

Both the STEM Center and NASA’s Inflight Education Downlinks were established to increase student interest and education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

For more information, or to submit questions, visit the STEM Center’s Web site.