NASA astronauts speak to a group of D.C. and Maryland students.
Astronauts aboard the International Space station encouraged students in D.C. and Maryland to study math and science to one day take people even further into space.
Six astronauts bobbed on screen in a meeting room at the U.S. Department of Education, as hundreds of rapt students looked on. The students came from D.C.'s Math Science and Technology Public Charter School, and Maryland's Parkland Magnet School for Aerospace Technology. They lined up to ask questions like "how does water technology relate to providing cleaner water on Earth?" and they got some interesting answers.
Traveling five miles a second, astronaut Nicole Stott explained that some space technologies relate directly to Earth's problems: "we are self-sustaining up here with our solar power, recycling our urine and other fluids to provide clean water."
The students also got some orbital encouragement from NASA administrator Charles Bolden, who told them they needed to study math and science to develop better engines to send humanity even further into space.
Lauren Lincoln is a senior at Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter school. Lincoln said she thought one of the most important messages students received was "that you can still be cool but very smart at the same time, that's very important for kids my age now, they think you can't be cool and smart at the same time."
Astronauts regularly show off their coolness to students across the country, as part of their Teaching from Space program.
Sabri Ben-Achour reports...