High Point, N.C. - You might remember sitting in a classroom years ago watching Neil Armstrong take a few steps on the moon. At the time, it felt like science fiction. However, Thursday afternoon, Guilford County Schools students got the chance to participate in a live video web chat with astronauts.
"We're kind of young and it's really amazing how we get to participate in a really big thing that real scientists sometimes never get to do," 13-year-old Ashka Shah said.
Hundreds of students stared up at a screen, watching and listening as astronauts in space answered questions from children all over the country.
Some, like third grader Jayani Cross, recorded the chat on iPads. "I wanted to record it because it was very informational and it gave me a lot of knowledge," Cross said.
Shah waited for her turn to talk to people traveling more than 17,000 miles an hour, 250 miles above earth.
"Not a lot of people get to do that," she said.
Andrews High School student Kyle Payton added, "I never would have expected that to happen here, especially while I was in high school."
Unfortunately, the astronauts in space ran out of time and didn't get to her question. But, she was able to video chat with another astronaut at the Smithsonian.
Shah asked, "What are the challenges and advantages of working with astronauts from other countries?"
The astronaut responded, "We're working together as one civilization to advance ourselves for peaceful purposes. So, the challenges are usually languages. But, the advantages are helping everyone on the planet advance."
After the conversation Shah said, "It was really cool. I really learned a lot from him and from all the questions everyone asked."
Guilford County Schools students sent up a science experiment with the astronauts earlier this year. It will come back from space this weekend. Then, the students will analyze it.
NASA has all kinds of different programs for schools, students and teachers. If you'd like to learn about how to get your children involved, visit this website.