An NC State flag is displayed in the cupola of the International Space Station in orbit above the Earth.

Live From the International Space Station

On Aug. 30, NASA astronaut and NC State alumna Christina Koch answered questions in a live video downlink from the International Space Station.

A Video Chat From Outer Space Becomes a Statewide Teaching Moment

When NASA approved NC State’s request to host a live downlink from the International Space Station with astronaut and alumna Christina Koch, the university had just a few months to pull together an event that highlighted the science and wonder of space exploration — as well as the strengths in STEM education that helped one of its alums reach for the stars.

Teams from across NC State and event co-host the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics came together to design an engaging and educational program around the 20-minute Q&A with Koch. They also led a coordinated effort to get the word out to audiences at both schools and beyond via social media and email campaigns, media pitches and outreach to K-12 schools across the state.

The result was a cosmic success. Koch answered questions from students from both schools. Astrophysicist and science communication superstar Katie Mack spoke about her path to a successful career in science. A panel of engineers and physicists fielded questions about outer space. And clubs and organizations from both host schools shared interactive activities and demonstrations in the lobby of the Talley Student Union.

1,100 Attendees

Our Talley Student Union ballroom was at full capacity for the event.

4,000 K-12 Students

NC State worked with schools to facilitate downlink viewing events on their campuses or at other sites for hundreds of students across the state.

5 Media Outlets

Media coverage reached far and wide.