NASA hopes to answer students’ age-old question “When am I ever going to use this information?” by matching up middle school students with the ultimate in role models – two space pioneers living in an orbiting laboratory 240 miles above the Earth.

On Oct. 2, Travis Middle School in Port Lavaca, Texas, will be the site of a chat between students and the crew of the International Space Station (ISS), Commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA ISS Science Officer Ed Lu. Eight hundred participants will gather for the event, with more than 3,400 middle school teachers and students in Texas and Mississippi listening in. The event will be shown on NASA TV at 2 p.m. CDT.

The event is all part of NASA’s Middle School Aerospace Scholars Program. The program is funded by the State of Texas and administered by NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. Middle School teachers gather for a one-week professional development workshop at JSC in Houston, which includes behind-the-scenes tours, briefings with scientists, engineers, and astronauts, and instruction on using online NASA resources. The teachers take back what they learn to integrate NASA instructional materials into their classroom curriculum.

The live interaction between the orbiting crew and the students will enhance the work these teachers completed at JSC. Students will see the results of studying math and science — that it could lead them to helping humans explore and develop space or perhaps to traveling beyond the Earth’s atmosphere themselves.

NASA TV is available on AMC-9, transponder 9C, C-Band, at 85 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz. For information about NASA TV on the Internet, visit: