We love Bill Nye and won’t pretend otherwise. Here is a man who has dedicated his professional life to a love of science and instilling that passion in kids through his showmanship, stage-presence and fondness for teaching.
Right now, Bill Nye is hosting a show from YouTube headquarters in London featuring a broadcast from the International Space Station. It’s a re-broadcast at the moment but it looks like it will be shown on repeat throughout the day. Nye is joined by the winners of the YouTube Space Lab Competition, students who put together experiments to be conducted in a zero-gravity environment. Winners were selected in March.
The Washington Post reported on the contest and mentioned Michigan students Dorothy Chen and Sara Ma who submitted a bacteria experiment.
“It is such an interesting time to be working on this with the renewed interest in space,” Chen said, referring to the successful landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars as well as the passing of celebrated astronaut Neil Armstrong.
At the time of this writing, Chen and Ma are asking questions to an American astronaut on the station. Her colleague casually pitched her one of the students’ bacteria tubes which she caught suspended in zero-G, drawing laughs from the students in London. The astronaut reported her observations about the experiment and the students were thrilled to learn that their predictions about the effect of zero gravity were correct! It’s a proud moment for any young person to actually have your hard work sent to the space station for real astronauts to observe.
Nye—always the inspirational voice of science—said, “Space exploration brings out the best in us, in humans. It challenges us. It’s peaceful. It raises the expectations of everyone in the world of what’s possible, and it’s inherently optimistic.”
Check out the broadcast below! I’m not too sure how long this YouTube link will be active (it may just be a day-long event), but I hope you get to view it now.