SAC Scobee Education Center connects SA teacher with space station astronauts

June 19, 2020

Sonny Melendrez - Community Engagement Consultant


San Antonio College’s Challenger Learning Center, part of the Scobee Education Center, made it possible for award-winning Edgewood ISD teacher, Breanna Ramirez to have her questions answered by astronauts aboard the International Space Center.

NASA, in conjunction with Challenger Centers across the country, chose students and teachers to submit recorded video questions that were then answered by NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, who recently became the first crew to fly in SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft to the space station, and ISS Commander Chris Cassidy. The live YouTube broadcast took place  Friday, June 19. 

In January, Ramirez, who teaches Early Learning students at Jose Cardenas Early Childhood Center in San Antonio, was awarded the Hackerman Teacher of the Year Award from SAC’s Challenger Learning Center and most recently received the 2020 June Scobee Rodgers Innovative Educator award for her enthusiasm and passion in teaching STEAM.

Richard Varner, Scobee Education Center director, says “Ms. Ramirez participation in the event is especially unique, given the age group she teaches and inspires. This national and international exposure goes a long way toward influencing important grant funding decisions.”

Her pre-schoolers have excitedly participated in the Micronaut program at the Scobee Education Center, which provides young children age 4 – 9 with an authentic STEAM experience as they travel through a simulated mission to the International Space Station.

Ramirez asked the astronauts, “With the successes of SpaceX, what do you see in the future for private citizens who wish to take a commercial spaceflight? And, if possible, how far into the future do you anticipate this could happen?”

Hurley said, “That’s a great question,” and answered by explaining that, while travel for civilians is cost-prohibitive at the moment, as more private companies get involved, the more opportunities will open up to make trip to space affordable. He estimated this could happen in the next 20 to 30 years.

Watch the entire 12 minute event on the NASA YouTube Channel.

The Scobee Education Center at San Antonio College is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults alike by fostering a love for science, technology, and astronomy through hands on experiences at the Challenger Learning Center, the Micronaut program, and the Scobee Planetarium. The center was established on the campus of San Antonio College in memory of the lives given by the seven crew members of the Space Shuttle Challenger/STS-51L "Teacher in Space" mission. 

Learn more about the Scobee Education Center HERE.