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As students race to the moon, they meet with an astronaut

TETON, Idaho (KIFI) - Students at Teton Elementary School, in Teton, Idaho have been working for the past year in order to try and have walked the distance from Earth to the moon, a distance of 238,900 miles.

Many of the miles have actually been donated from people all over the world. Monday, as a part of their project, they were able to meet with astronaut Steve Swanson and saw some videos from Swanson of what it was like in space as well as ask many different questions of what Astronauts do in space.

"One of them was how to how do you brush your teeth in space?" Logan Parker said.

Parker said this was Swanson's answer, "They have these, like little bags with a straw and they have water on them. And like they, blow some water out and they like floats there. And so they can and then they like, brush their teeth and spit it out into a paper towel afterwards and throw it away."

They also asked the astronaut how they eat in space.

"They had to have, a table and they had to tape stuff, but sometimes they got used to it, so they just let it float away. Not like far away, but, let it flow out there, and then they could just grab it," Brendan Bailey said.

Brendan added they were even told some of the food Astronaut Swanson ate aboard the international space station.

"They had lettuce and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches" among others Brendan said escaped his memory.

For many of the students, the interaction was amazing and left a mark on their memory.

"It's really cool because you don't see it from a first-person view. You always see it from stories. So it's really cool to see someone who actually experienced it," Benson Pike said.

"Think that was really cool because not many people get to like, really like see an astronaut or something like that and like, just to see what it is like on a Zoom call. That was really cool because you could speak and like you could ask questions, but if it was just like a video, someone like put on something, you couldn't ask questions or anything, really," Logan Parker said.

"It's cool to see videos of how things move and like what they ate and, um, like, just to see how big the space station was," Bailey said.

"I've never seen a real astronaut, and it was really cool to be able to see one and talk to one and ask him questions and him tell us what it was like instead of just watching like a video about it and all the fun stuff that he taught us about space and a lot of things that I didn't know that he taught me," Ember Ricks said.

"I think it was cool and like how like were work like and how they make it fit, like physics kind of work out in space and how he could like move in space and all these videos And I think it's cool that he just gave us a chance to see it," Josie Tibbitts said.

"It was really cool because it seemed like it was a video, but it was real. So I was kind of excited because I've never seen an astronaut or like, really seen videos and the fact that we got to talk with one was kind of cool," Khloe Abegglen said.

For many of the students, the interaction has even sparked ideas of the future.

"It's like cool that you could, like, flow like, kind of like with, like the gravity change and all that or, like, different, like, you do the same things just different ways and other things. Like how, how you brush your teeth here on Earth and how you do in space. Like, that would be cool. Just like change that kind of," Parker said.

"I thought it would be cool, though. Maybe, like, make a new type of rocket or something," Bailey said.

"I hope that later on I can learn more about space to become an astronaut myself. And I think it would be really cool. And everything that I've learned this year is definitely a really cool experience for later on in my life," Ricks said.

"I don't know, it would be kind of cool to give this information to my brother since he might want to be it. But it'd be kind of interesting if I did eventually become an astronaut," Abegglen said.

Their teacher Heather Romrell said while Swanson isn't currently in space he has been multiple times and has definitely helped the kids learn about space.

"We shared videos that he and some of his colleagues made while they were in space of them doing fun activities and things like that and and and shared with us, you know, his memories of the experience and what they learned and what they did and all that."

Romrell said even the project they have been doing of "Racing to the Moon" says it made the kids excited about learning about the science of the universe.

"They just get excited to hear, you know, of where these donations are coming from and from all the people that make comments and share their stories. it's been really fun for them to learn more about it and in a slightly more hands-on way than normal."

Romrell even said the call lasted through two different zoom calls as Swanson and the students were having too much fun learning about space together.

The students have just over 12,000 miles to go before they reach their goal to make it to the moon. You can donate miles to the students here. Up next for the students is a visit to the planetarium at BYU-Idaho.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8.


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