Exploring the Cosmos: Fifth-Graders Engage with Astronaut Kjel Lindgren on Long-Term Space Living Challenges and Solutions

Fifth-grade students walked over to the Innovation Center on Monday during science class to watch Astronaut Kjel Lindgren’s discussion on what it takes for humans to live long-term in space, specifically the medical and mental health problems humans face when considering longer-term space travel like going to Mars. He discussed various solutions that we already have in place and solutions that are still needed to help make this exploration possible.

“Students brainstormed a variety of questions that encompass daily life, education and training, staying healthy, and self-care,” said Mrs. Whiffen, the Lower School science teacher. “As each of these areas was discussed, the students took notes to later refer to as they discussed what they learned in class. They are presently studying Earth in Space and Time. This was a great experience to hear first-hand the answers to questions they had.”

“I never knew how they recycled water in space so that they always have water available,” said Zion Bledman, grade 5. “It was interesting to hear how they do that.”

“My favorite part was learning how they are growing plants in space to have fresh food,” said Thor Wernek, grade 5. “I also liked the water information.”

“I enjoyed learning how they eat in space,” said Valeria Binotto, grade 5. “They sometimes play with their food and have to use tubes to keep the water from floating. I also enjoyed hearing about the way they exercise.”