Frostburg State University Students, Middle-Schoolers to Speak to Astronaut Alumnus in Space, Join Science Activities

Apr 5, 2018 2:30 PM

On Monday, April 9, students from Frostburg State University and local middle schools will have the opportunity to speak with Frostburg alumnus and NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold, who is in the early weeks of his six-month mission. The conversation will take place via a live downlink from the International Space Station, scheduled to begin at 9:55 a.m. The 20-minute downlink can be viewed on NASA TV via, or through links on FSU social media.

In addition, approximately 1,200 students from Allegany and Garrett County middle schools, Frankfort Middle School in West Virginia and three local private schools will be on campus to participate in a wide range of NASA and space-related educational activities directed by more than 100 College of Education students and faculty in sites all around campus.

The questions will come from a mix of FSU teacher candidates and other students from the College of Education, local middle school students and teacher education students from Bowie State University and University of Maryland, College Park. They will cover a range of topics involving education and spaceflight. Arnold will be joined by fellow astronaut Drew Feustel.

Arnold, FSU Class of 1985, earned his accounting degree and teaching certification from FSU, along with a master’s degree in Marine and Estuarine Science from UMCP. After teaching all over the world, he was chosen in 2004 as an astronaut candidate. Arnold is among the first Educator Astronauts, a renewal of the program that began with teacher Christa McAuliffe, the first civilian selected to go to space; she died in the 1986 Challenger accident. Arnold's mission is the second half of NASA’s Year of Education on Station, in which NASA’s astronauts will be executing the lesson plans McAuliffe created but never got to teach, among other educational activities.

Read more about Arnold’s thoughts on returning to space at here.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit or Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.