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Reading With Your Kids is all about encouraging parents to read with their kids, and cook with their kids, and do activities with their kids, and experience tv, movies and music together. In other words, our podcast is all about helping parents build stronger relationships with their kids.

May 17, 2024

This episode of Reading With Your Kids explored the fascinating world of space through the eyes of children. Astronaut John Schaffner discussed the International Space Art and Poetry Contest, sharing imaginative submissions from kids ages 5-18 around the world. The contest reveals children's unique visions of living in space, like bringing cats and holding hands with aliens.

John emphasized how the contest sparks kids' natural curiosity about space. Even without formal education on the topic, they intuitively grasp concepts of zero gravity and vacuum environments. The discussion considered why space captures children's imaginations, possibly representing a blank canvas free of worldly problems.

Bringing arts into STEM fields, the contest shows how creativity fuels discovery. John highlighted the importance of inspiring young minds in STEM careers like engineering, which support space exploration. The podcast also addressed cultivating interest in related fields such as oceanography that deserve more funding.

Author Kate O'Shaughnessy provided insight into writing for middle grade audiences. Her book The Wrong Way Home explores timely themes of questioning beliefs and thinking independently. The conversation stressed building foundations with kids through open discussions from an early age to have important conversations as they grow. Overall, the episode celebrated how arts can spark imaginations and advance humanity's understanding of both inner and outer space.

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