Education Around the World
Administrator Charles F. Bolden. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden spoke to students and teachers about International Education Week. Image Credit: NASA

Students and teachers around the world learned more about International Education Week -- via a message that also was from "around the world."

The crew of the International Space Station helped promote the event by answering questions during a live downlink with middle and high school students about what it’s like to live and work in space. NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden also spoke to students and teachers, as did U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

While students and teachers around the world could watch the broadcast of the event online, two schools -- Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter High School in Washington, D.C., and Parkland Magnet Middle School for Aerospace Technology in Rockville, Md. -- were invited to participate in person at the U.S. Department of Education.

Those students also got to meet and ask questions of four astronauts who participated in the event -- Patrick Forrester, Christer Fuglesang, José Hernández and Don Thomas. Forrester, Fuglesang and Hernández recently visited the space station on space shuttle Discovery's STS-128 mission. Former astronaut Thomas is a veteran of four spaceflights between 1994 and 1997.

Adding to the international flavor of the event, students asked questions of the crew in English, French, German and Russian. The International Space Station's Expedition 21 crew included astronauts from the United States, Russia, Belgium and Canada. Members of the crew were Frank De Winne, Nicole P. Stott, Roman Romanenko, Robert Thirsk, Jeff Williams and Maxim Suraev.

NASA Administrator Bolden compared the goals of International Education Week with the agency's work with 16 nations to complete and operate the International Space Station, which he described as "the most advanced scientific research platform ever created."

"The theme for International Education Week 2009, Creating a Vision for a Better Future, echoes NASA's commitment to work toward the common goals of making life better for people here on Earth and improving our understanding of the universe," Bolden said.

Secretary of Education Duncan explained the significance of the event: "International education is an important part of the well-rounded and complete education we need to offer all of our nation's children. Our graduates should be global citizens prepared to work well with people from diverse backgrounds, whether it be an individual who is a recent immigrant to the United States living in the community, or a business client or colleague located halfway around the world."

NASA's involvement in International Education Week supports the agency's goal of attracting and retaining students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

Related Resources
International Education Week   →
Message from NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. (PDF)   →
Statement on International Education Week 2009 from the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (PDF)   →
NASA Education
International Space Station

David Hitt/NASA Educational Technology Services