Through a variety of audiovisuals, Lower School students document their class experiences.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Skype Chat with NASA Astronaut Michael Fossum!

(Sebastian) We spoke to an astronaut on a Skype chat. His name was Commander Michael Fossum, and he has been on the International Space Station (ISS) 3 times.  He’s even done space walks.  Did you know that astronauts dehydrate their food (before they launch), and drink their pee to rehydrate it?  But first they purify the water (Whew!).
(Juan Esteban) When we spoke to Commander Fossum (an ex-ISS Commander) on Skype, I discovered many things. One thing I learned was that their food is dehydrated, which means that before the food goes up to space they take all the water out.  Another thing I learned was that they have to put very hot water in the package and let it rest for about 10 – 15 minutes.  I also learned that in case of an evacuation they have to gather all the crew in one place and, if it is possible, they have to locate and fix the leak or fail. If it’s not possible, then they have to leave in the Soyuz capsule.
(Jose Miguel) He also said that when you are in the Soyuz capsule you get so squished because it’s so small.
(Julia) Astronauts have to be careful in space, but they also have fun!

Monday, November 19, 2012

NASA Guest: Get a Leg Up Activity (Microgravity)

(Isabel E.) On November 13th I was in my class when Mr. Lutomski, the risk-manager for the International Space Station (ISS) walked in my classroom!  He was tall, had gray hair cut short, a white shirt, with a green sweater, gray pants and brown shoes.  He showed us 3 videos on how the body reacts after it’s been in space. He talked to us about a syndrome called “chicken legs”, where all the blood from your legs goes up towards your head, since there’s no gravity keeping the blood towards the feet.  Then he told us to do an experiment (I was the test subject).  The test subject had to roll up his or her pants, lie down on their back, and put their legs up for 10 minutes. Since our legs were up against a wall, gravity pulled the blood down (to our heads). Then we had to compare the measurement of our legs before and after, to see if our leg measurements changed. 
(The whole class) Our measurements did change! The circumference of our legs got smaller (for most people) because we got “chicken legs” when the blood left our legs.
(Mariam) These are the steps that we did.  First, we had to stand up for 10 minutes so that most of the blood would go to our feet. Second, we had to put tape on our legs, and the first piece we had to put it a little higher than our knee.  The second piece we had to put below the knee. The third piece of tape we had to put almost on the foot, but not exactly on the foot. The third step was that we had to lie down and put our feet up for 10 minutes.  It felt very good to do this because we did it with a partner, so that they could measure us. It was also awesome because we got to be with someone who works with the ISS!
(Andres) How about you try this at your house? But you must not wear tight jeans or pants that are not easy to pull up, so that the experiment works well (otherwise the blood gets “caught” in your thigh, and the measurements might be wrong).
(Julia) I love space! Maybe someday I will go to the Moon, and it will be just as common as going to New York today!