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A Chat with Astronaut Dr. Jeanette Epps

February 22, 2023 | Bridget O'Dowd

As we entered into February, we began our talks about Black History Month. One way the kindergarten have been learning about Black excellence is by learning about African Americans who were pioneers in their field, in the field we are studying!

So when we learned about Mae Jemison and her connection to natural light, stars, the children were hooked!

Mr. Solder offered to reach out to Jeanette Epps, an astronaut, on our behalf!

When children returned to school today, we learned about Dr. Jeanette Epps and her training as an astronaut. The children were excited to find out they get to meet a real-life astronaut! They gathered questions that they wanted to ask and we eagerly awaited the time to zoom! We even invited 1st grade to join us, as they are beginning their own study of space.

During our short time, some things we found out were:

She had to go to 11 1/2 years of school after high school!

She has been training to go on the International Space Station next year!

It’s not easy to be an astronaut .

She showed us the dehydrated food that astronauts eat, both underwater in training, and in outer space!


We’re so grateful to Dr. Epps for her time and for all our community who graciously share ideas for connections to our studies! You can watch the whole recording here.

Bridget O'Dowd

Ms. O’Dowd came to Mustard Seed in 2017, after moving to Hoboken in 2016. She found a school and a community all in one package at Mustard Seed! Having taught kindergarten in Illinois before moving to New Jersey, Ms. O’Dowd has a passion for five-year-olds. She’s delighted to be a part of the kindergarten team and loves to read and share in story with students. Her favorite moment of the day is during a good read aloud, when she looks out and sees the faces of children showing empathy and emotion in response to the story. Ms. O’Dowd’s hobbies include exploring new neighborhoods, watching BBC documentaries, traveling to visit family, and eating her way through New York City.

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