So in August last year I wrote a blog post called The importance of bedtime stories. I spoke about how you need that experience and how it can be an amazing connection with your child. But I also think reading to a child can be massively inspirational. There are so many beautiful books out there that tell amazing stories of amazing people. So what about if we took them amazing stories and had amazing people read them? That’s where storytime from space comes in!
“What you cannot imagine, you cannot do” Now imagine Astronauts on the Space Station reading stories to and conducting science experiments for the children of Earth as the world rotates below. Imagine no more…it’s Story Time from Space!
The program was set up by educator Patricia Tribe and astronaut Alvin Drew with other people joining in over the years to offer different expertise. They were looking for a way to promote reading in children while keeping them entertained and amazed, and I must say watching a cool person floating around in zero gravity is a pretty good way to do this. The project expanded to include science experiments when Bjarni Tryggvaso joined the team and it has grown.
Patricia Tribe spoke to the huffington post and said:
“What better role models to engage kids in science and to engage them in reading?” she said. “You’re not only looking and listening to the books, you’re looking around the International Space Station.”
What makes this project so special is it works with a diverse group of people reading a diverse set of books. This includes both men and women from all over the world with all sorts of backgrounds, allowing children to go on the page and find someone reading a book that is like them in their language. On top of this each video is around 6 to 15 minutes long meaning that they can be watched by parents and children when they have a little spare time or before bed when you’re starting to relax.
All the books picked to read are also greatly vetted and have to meet a certain criteria. It must have some aspect of STEM in it and it must be accurate, this program being used to teach kids as much as entertain and as a result the info needs to be true. Sometimes books are given by authors and sometimes they’re picked by the team, then matched to the scientist who’ll read them. They want the characters in the books to be represented as a real person. After this the books go through the payload process at NASA and then have to be labeled, cleaned and sent to Florida for launch.
The first book to be read was Max goes to the Moon by co founder Alvin Drew and Max goes to the Space Station was even read twice by Mike Hopkins in English and later by Koichi Wakata in Japanese.
I love this project so much, I’m a huge lover of getting kids interested in reading more and what better way than this project. I also love to see diversity to play such a huge point in a project like this, I think it’s important for children to see themselves in their heroes.
Find your local independent bookshop here
Or on Abebooks here
Or even in your local library that can be found here
Check out my last blog post here where I talk about Outspoken: 50 speeches by incredible woman by Deborah Coughlin and maybe consider subscribing to my newsletter on the right.