ISS Benefits for Humanity: Train Like an Astronaut

[ Music ]>>Being an educator
today is not easy. We, here at Heights Elementary
School are not here simply to educate our students
in the academic realm. It’s so important
for our students to be lifelong learners, and
we have to think about ways that we motivate them to do so.>>There are so many
distractions that we have to compete with.>>iPads.>>Xbox.>>Video games.>>Internet.>>Far too many channels
of cable television.>>What we need is something that kids will be
highly motivated about. Something to keep
them physically fit, as well as making
nutritionally-sound choices. [ Music ]>>What we needed was a new
tool to help these kids think about diet and exercise in order to make the healthy
choices they need to.>>I knew what that tool was. It was something that
inspired me as a kid and continues to
inspire me today. The space program.>>The importance of an
astronaut’s physical exercise and proper diet cannot
be understated. Not just for the fitness of the
astronaut, but also to ensure that they stay mentally focused
and productive during their stay on the International
Space Station, and for future missions,
whether it be to asteroids, the moon, or Mars.>>In response to the rising
childhood obesity rate, NASA has developed a
series of activities based on astronaut training
and we call that: Train Like An Astronaut.>>Examples of the Train Like
An Astronaut activities include things that we do exactly as
we do on the ISS: cycling, resistance training,
and cardiovascular. And then onto dexterity,
putting puzzles together, making healthy food choices,
and working as a team. All activities as they
truly do on the ISS.>>Train Like An Astronaut
activities are flexible enough to be used in conjunction with
other programs like NFL Play 60. What makes this program
unique is that we’re using the human
challenges of spaceflight to inspire, as well as
motivate our children, to make healthy choices
throughout their life.>>We’re currently
in 24 countries with over 24,000 participants,
and growing every year.>>This has expanded to such
an incredible opportunity for both myself and for
educators around the world, to make such an impact
on the lives of children, both for fitness as
well as nutrition.>>It was excitement for the
whole thing, that the students, they weren’t just doing
exercises anymore, they were training
like an astronaut!>>The true success of the
program is the educators. An example of a teacher
that has worked and motivated his children
is an outstanding educator by the name of Timothy Vigorito. This gentleman excited them
and inspired them in ways that we never could do it. And with that, he’s helping us
grow the 21st century leadership that we so desperately need.>>Mr. Vigorito is extremely
passionate about the Train Like An Astronaut program.>>I think he himself would
like to be an astronaut.>>He comes to life when
he’s teaching the kids and talking about the program. The kids feel that enthusiasm.>>We’re just so
fortunate to have him. Oh, it’s truly the case. [ Music ]>>They say your astronaut
training doesn’t begin when NASA hires you. It begins when you’re young,
by learning about space and the world around us, and by
making healthy choices in life. Today, I’d like to recognize an
outstanding physical education teacher, Tim Vigorito, for
being a champion for the Train Like An Astronaut program and influencing thousands
of students to date. It is educators like you
that truly make a difference in this world, and who will
inspire the next generation to propel humankind on future
missions to Mars and beyond.>>This is too much. For me, it’s become
a way of life. And I’m just so thankful
to everyone for what it’s done for me. I just want to share
that with my students. Maybe it’ll inspire them
to reach a little deeper, to go a little further,
maybe to try a little harder, whatever it is in life. [ Music ]

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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