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Your kids can join a free class with an astronaut (and more) in these virtual school days

Astronaut Leland Melvin speaks with a class of elementary school students in 2008.
Astronaut Leland Melvin speaks with a class of elementary school students in 2008.
(Image: © Sean Smith/NASA)

Want to study space exploration with an astronaut? Now's your chance.

Leland Melvin, a retired NASA astronaut and former NFL wide receiver, is teaching a two-part course called "Chasing Space: Science and Life Lessons" as part of a Virtual School Day program launched by Varsity Tutors, a virtual education site, to educate children home from school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first session takes place today (May 12) at 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT) and will focus on why space exploration matters for those of us remaining on Earth. The second session, at the same time on May 19, will talk about spaceflight from an astronaut's perspective, including each step of a mission and reorienting to life on the ground. Each session will last 30 minutes.

"After injuries ended my football career, I decided to attend graduate school and study engineering thanks to a former professor’s influence," Melvin said in a statement. "I want to pay that example forward and inspire students to reach for the stars."

Related: Free space projects for kids (and adults) stuck at home

Melvin's class is free for all but targeted for students between grades 3 to 8. It is one of four different tracks, each hosted by a different star teacher, available for free from Varsity Tutors. 

The other classes are: 

To sign up for Melvin's free class, you can register through Varsity Tutors.

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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