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'SciGirls' From Ramapo Challenger Center To Speak Live To Space Station Astronauts

Astronaut Christina Koch will speak live from the International Space Station with students at the Town of Ramapo Challenger Center.
Astronaut Christina Koch will speak live from the International Space Station with students at the Town of Ramapo Challenger Center. Photo Credit: NASA

Eight girls from across the region will be talking with two people from outer space live on NASA TV when they connect with astronauts on the International Space Station.

The middle school girls, who all participate in the Town of Ramapo's Challenger Center "Sic-Girls in Space" program get the once-in-a-lifetime chance from 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19.

The best part, the public can watch it all live on NASA TV.

During the "visit" the girls, from Suffern, Nanuet, Nyack, Pearl River, North Rockland, South Orangetown and Montvale, New Jersey, will speak with astronauts Christina Koch and Drew Morgan who are orbiting on the International Space Station.

The students, in grades sixth through ninth, are all part of the program is intended to empower girls to pursue activities in science, technology, engineering, and math - more commonly known as STEM.

“SciGirls in Space” from several other sites have submitted questions for the girls in Ramapo to ask the astronauts.

Several of them include such basics as to how they stay clean and in shape in microgravity and lots about their lives and backgrounds. Or, in other words, how they landed on the Space Station.

"SciGirls outreach programming specifically focuses on providing girls with female STEM role models, said Executive Producer Rita Karl. "So we requested Christina Koch to facilitate our event. She is a terrific role model for girls across the nation and the globe."

In addition to the question and answer session, the event will include hands-on activities and presentations by space science educator and former president of the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame Joe Lennox and a representative from Teachers in Space.

The Ramapo Challenger Center was the brainchild of Suffern senior, Kristina Rodriguez. Between 1993 and 1999, community volunteers raised more than $3 million to make her dream a reality.

Since the center opened in 1999, it has conducted more than 200,000 simulated missions to the moon, Mars, and to a comet. And educators have used space exploration to help students develop critical think and cooperative learning skills.

The center, located at 225 Route 59 in Airmont, is led by Executive Director John Huibregtse. Click here for more about the center.

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