Storyboard / Twin Cities PBS Selected for NASA Live Contact from Space

Back to Storyboard Posts

Twin Cities PBS Selected for NASA Live Contact from Space

Event Augments PBS SciGirls’ Educational Outreach Programming

August 7, 2019

St. Paul, Minn. (August 7, 2019)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Twin Cities PBS (TPT)’s SciGirls program announce a live contact between the International Space Station and girls from the Town of Ramapo Challenger Center. The event features a televised downlink conversation with the ISS that allows students to communicate with astronaut Christina Koch on Monday, August 19, between 9:50-10:10AM CT.

The downlink is part of TPT’s SciGirls initiative, a National Science Foundation-supported project that combines a national PBS television series, multiple websites, educational engagement for youth and professional development workshops for educators. All project components work together to empower girls to explore and encourage girls around science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

The downlink will be streamed live on NASA TV and recorded for wider dissemination throughout the SciGirls CONNECT network, which includes over 200 educational partner organizations nationwide. “SciGirls outreach programming specifically focuses on providing girls with female STEM role models, so we requested astronaut Christina Koch to facilitate our event. She is a terrific role model for girls across the nation and around the globe,” says Executive Producer Rita Karl.

Multiple educational partner organizations nationwide are participating in this special SciGirls in Space initiative. These partner organizations include The McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning, MA; North Dakota Space Grant Consortium, Grand Forks, ND; The Town of Ramapo Challenger Center, NY and Twin Cities PBS.

The Town of Ramapo Challenger Center, led by Center Director John Huibregtse, will act as the downlink’s host site. Girls from all partner organizations will share original questions about living and working in space with the host site, and the youth at Ramapo will conduct the conversation on behalf of all participants. The downlink gathering at the Challenger Center of Ramapo will also feature 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 mission of TPT is to “enrich lives and strengthen communities through the power of media.” As one of the nation’s leading public media organizations, TPT uses television, digital media and community engagement to advance education, culture and citizenship. Over its 60-plus year history, TPT has been recognized for its innovation and creativity, particularly in STEM media production. Based in St. Paul, MN, TPT is one of the highest rated PBS affiliates in the nation, reaching over 1.3 million people each month through multiple broadcast and online channels. The organization’s particular areas of focus include: the educational readiness of children; serving the needs and unleashing the potential of America’s aging population; engaging a new generation in the power of public media; and being the preferred media partner for organizations that align with our mission to enrich lives and strengthen community. For more information, visit TPT online, follow TPT on Facebook and Twitter. 


The Town of Ramapo Challenger Center, established in 1999, provides educational programming for youth and families in Rockland, NY and its neighboring counties in the Lower Hudson Valley region. The Challenger Center’s goal mirrors that of “Teacher in Space” Christa McAuliffe and the astronauts lost in the Challenger 51-L mission: to find unique and creative ways to enhance students’ learning experiences in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. In over 3,000 simulated space trips to the Moon, Mars, and to a Comet, Center educators have used space exploration as a way to raise students’ expectation of success; develop their critical thinking and cooperative learning skills; foster a long-term interest in STEM and provide motivation around motivate STEM studies. The Center welcomes all learners, including those who are educationally disadvantaged or physically challenged. Visit the Town of Ramapo Challenger Center’s website to learn more.

Contact: Kristin Pederson, Twin Cities PBS, [email protected]; 651.229.1288.

© Twin Cities Public Television - 2019. All rights reserved.


Read Next

To Top