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New podcast – Tim Belknap on teaching kids about space as Astronaut Tim


In early December Tim Belknap set up a small, pretend space station inside Temple Gallery that was an almost-convincing replica of the real thing. He called the set piece Destiny Module, a reference to the US Space Station’s Science Lab.  Destiny Module was part of Belknap’s project to beam himself as Astronaut Tim into a Philadelphia 4th grade classroom for a science talk.  All this would be done via the magic of a live Skype video feed.  Tim — who is not an astronaut but an artist and Fleisher Challenge winner with a mischievous sense of play and a self-created mission to educate kids about space — harnessed himself to a cable attached to heavy metal beams in the piece (in his day job he does custom steel fabrication) and hung suspended in front of a video camera as if he was floating in zero gravity. The students were wowed and believed the ruse, at least at first, and asked him questions like Is the moon a cookie? and When will the earth explode?  

Watch the YouTube slide version of this podcast:

Also, check out the recent story by Peter Crimmins and the video by Lindsay Lazarski on WHYY’s NewsWorks!

This episode is edited by Peter Crimmins. The music is by Eric Biondo. The slide show is edited by artblog Intern Alison McMenamin. Thanks to the Knight Foundation for helping us get the ball rolling on this project. Thanks also to J-Lab‘s Enterprise Reporting Fund and William Penn Foundation for additional support and to our partner WHYY NewsWorks for their ongoing support and for sharing artblog radio episodes on the arts & culture page of their community news site You can subscribe to artblog radio on iTunes.