Polo Park Science Students Collaborate With Space Station

Polo Park Middle School eighth-grade science students had an opportunity recently to work with the International Space Station on the Sally Ride EarthKAM project. The project was initiated by Dr. Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space.

Sally Ride EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) is a NASA educational outreach program that enables students, teachers and the public to learn about Earth from the unique perspective of space. During Sally Ride EarthKAM missions, Polo Park students requested images of specific locations on Earth.

The image requests were uploaded to the space station, the photos were taken and then made available in a searchable Sally Ride EarthKAM image archive.

The project was initially called KidSat. The KidSat camera flew on three space shuttle flights (STS 76, 81 and 86) and then in 1998, the program was renamed EarthKAM. The EarthKAM camera flew on two more shuttle flights (STS 89 and 99) before moving to the space station. Sally Ride died in 2012, and in 2013, NASA renamed the program Sally Ride EarthKAM. The Sally Ride EarthKAM camera remains a permanent payload on the ISS, supporting about four missions annually.

ABOVE: Students work on the Sally Ride EarthKam project.