David Saint-Jacques: live from space

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Après une préparation de près de 10 ans, l'astronaute québécois David Saint-Jacques s'est envolé le 3 décembre 2018, à bord de la fusée Soyouz, en direction de la Station spatiale internationale. Une mission de 6 mois attend celui qui est aussi médecin, ingénieur, astrophysicien, physicien et pilote d'avion.

After nearly 10 years of preparation, Quebec astronaut David Saint-Jacques took off on December 3, 2018, aboard the Soyuz rocket, towards the International Space Station. A 6-month mission awaits the one who is also a doctor, engineer, astrophysicist, physicist and airplane pilot. Health will be the central element of Dr. Saint-Jacques' space experiments and several of them will focus on the effects of weightlessness on the human body.

"This research carried out in space has several applications on Earth," specifies Mathieu Caron, in particular in the study of aging. Bones, in particular, decalcify more quickly in space and lose their strength, the cardiovascular system and the spine are also affected by weightlessness. "

Source: Radio-Canada, December 3, 2018

All these explorations and experiences will not remain for the sole use of specialists. David Saint-Jacques wants to make everything he lives in space accessible to as many people as possible and intends to use Facebook and Twitter to share moments live with Earth.

“The Canadian astronaut firmly believes that the future of humanity lies in space exploration and he intends to share the fruits of his experience with the general public through social networks. “You can't keep an experience like that to yourself. I will try to bring as many people as possible on board virtually, ”he said. "

Source: Radio-Canada, November 15, 2018

Your challenge

Go on Kahoot.it and enter the code 866868 to access the quiz on the life of David St-Jacques. Then, if you take the quiz alone, you will have to click here to enter the parameters of the quiz and start it yourself. If you do it with a teacher or a parent, they can set up the quiz by going themselves just here.

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Disciplines and levels targeted

Science and technology (3rd cycle of elementary school)

  • Earth and space (astronomical phenomena)

French (can be adapted to all levels)

  • Write a variety of texts

Targeted dimensions of digital competence

  • Producing content with digital
  • Develop and mobilize your information culture
  • Harnessing the potential of digital technology for learning
  • Communicate with digital
  • Collaborate with digital

Suggested digital tools

  • Anchor
  • Tweeter
  • Google earth
  • iMovie

Educational intention of the guide

The following activities will help students understand the role of David Saint-Jacques' mission in the advancement of science.

Objectives of the activities

  • Learn about life on the International Space Station and create a podcast based on what students have learned.
  • Use social networks to follow David Saint-Jacques on his adventure and write him a tweet.
  • Use Google Earth to explore the International Space Station and create an iMovie trailer with the photos.

ACTIVITY 1: Life on the International Space Station (ISS)

From chapter 3 of Educational guide proposed by theEuropean Space Agency and which documents life aboard the ISS, students are invited to imagine themselves living a few days in zero gravity.

They will therefore have to read the chapter mentioned above and then put themselves in the shoes of an astronaut to report, using a podcast, what they experience every day in the ISS.

Students get into pairs and ensure that one of them asks the questions while the other takes the role of the astronaut. Recording can be done with a smartphone, tablet or computer microphone.

Here are some ideas to guide the questions:

  1. What are the activities you do on a typical day?
  2. How much time do you devote to your different activities?
  3. What did you like to do on Earth that is impossible in space?
  4. What are the most difficult things to do in the ISS?
  5. How do you feel when you are weightless?
  6. How do you eat
  7. How do you sleep
  8. Is it complicated to wash and go to the bathroom?

The majority of the answers are found in the 13 pages of Chapter 3 that must be read beforehand.

Roles can then be reversed in the team.

The GarageBand app on iOS works well for recording and editing a podcast. You will find here a procedure that guides you step by step.

ACTIVITY 2: Twitter, beyond the stars

David Saint-Jacques has promised to be active on social networks, during his 6-month journey, to make the experiences he will live aboard the ISS accessible to the public. So by going on Twitter @Astro_DavidS, the students will be able to follow the states of mind of the astronaut and attend several key moments of the mission in sounds and images.

After consulting the various tweets of David Saint-Jacques, the students are asked to write their own message of pride to the astronaut, in 280 characters. In what ways does Mr. St-Jacques inspire young people? Each learner can therefore write down how the astronaut's achievements positively influence them in the pursuit of their dreams.

Use the #oseexplorer hashtag when posting your tweets. This is directly linked to David Saint-Jacques' mission and will give you good visibility in the tweetosphere. Also take the opportunity to explore the various publications containing this hashtag, the students could make great discoveries.

ACTIVITY 3: Discovering the ISS

Google earth offers to explore the ISS from the inside. It is therefore a guided tour in 18 360-degree photos that is available to fully immerse you in a world at the cutting edge of technology. Just type "International Space Station" in the search bar to access the images.

The next activity is to use these photos to create a trailer with iMovie and thus highlight the many technologies that make ISS unique in the world.

The pupils will therefore insert the images of the ISS in their trailer and will have to describe using a few sentences what is represented.

Example: The Columbus research laboratory allows thousands of experiments to be performed in different fields: life sciences, materials sciences, fluid dynamics, etc. It also makes it possible to carry out research in weightlessness, which is impossible to carry out on Earth.

This tutorial will guide your students step by step through the creation of their trailer.


You will find here an educational guide very complete on the International Space Station. It consists of five chapters that explain various aspects of the ISS: what is it for, how was it built, what life and work look like on board and what will the next missions to the Station be like? You will also find interdisciplinary exercises, a teacher's guide and a glossary.

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