Press Release

The New Neighbors Just Moved In and They’ve Got a Lot to Teach Our Students

By SpaceRef Editor
December 4, 2000
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Contact: Mark J. O’Brien


The day they moved in, there was no moving van. Their new home has no street address and unmanned vehicles deliver their mail. Earth’s newest neighbors are currently orbiting 220 miles above, inside the International Space Station, and promise to stimulate the minds of children around the globe.

The International Space Station is the largest structure ever built in space. When completed, it will be the third brightest object visible to the naked eye after the moon and Venus.

While the International Space Station is not projected to be complete and fully operational until the year 2006, families around the world will be able to get an unprecedented opportunity to meet our new neighbors in December.

As part of an ongoing effort to expand the boundaries of learning, Discovery Channel plans to launch its third “Watch With The World” event, INSIDE THE SPACE STATION. The program, which will present an exclusive, in-depth look into this technological marvel will air simultaneously in 150 countries and 32 languages on Sunday, December 10, 2000 from 9-10 PM.

Leveraging this event to strengthen education, Discovery Channel School, the educational resource arm of Discovery, has announced a special mailing to 70,000 middle school science teachers that includes a 30-minute classroom video, extensive lesson plans and facts on the International Space Station. The materials are expected to arrive in schools the week of November 27 to allow teachers the opportunity to use the curriculum materials before and after the INSIDE THE SPACE STATION program.

“Our mission at Discovery Channel School is to take the most exciting current events that are unfolding in the real world and create thought-provoking, multi-media tools that teachers can use to stimulate the minds of their students,” says Neal Lieberman, Vice President of Discovery Channel Education. “Children who watch the Inside the Space Station program today may grow up to actually live in space. We want to make sure that teachers have the resources to help their students explore the vast opportunities that are in store for them.”

Featured in the mailing to middle school science teachers is a 30-minute video, “Countdown to the Space Station,” which includes clips from various Discovery Channel School videos, CD-ROMS and the INSIDE THE SPACE STATION program itself. Students will be able to take a fantastic voyage through space that traces our exploration of the solar system. From the earliest telescopes to the amazing International Space Station, the video covers the spectrum from how we learned about the stars to how we can live among them.

Diverse topics covered in the video include:

  • How telescopes helped us learn about the universe.

  • Why improvements in rocket technology were so important.

  • What propelled the United States to the moon.

  • What it takes for nations to work together in space.

  • What living in space is really like.

    In addition to the curriculum guide that accompanies the video and a poster that teachers can hang in their classrooms, the mailing also includes a letter to parents promoting the family viewing night on December 10 in the context of a homework assignment from the curriculum guide.

    Discovery Channel is one of the United States’ two largest cable television networks, serving 79.8 million households across the nation with the finest in informative entertainment. Discovery Networks, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Science Channel, Discovery Home & Leisure Channel, Discovery Civilization Channel, Discovery Wings Channel and Discovery en Espanol. The unit also markets and distributes to BBC America.


    Editor’s note: A photo of the INSIDE THE SPACE STATION teacher’s kit and its components is available upon request. For more information on Discovery Channel School and available resources, please contact Mark J. O’Brien at 301.622.7699.

  • SpaceRef staff editor.