You probably already know we're fascinated by the variety of this amazing little world where we live. Actually, our curiosity isn't limited only to the Earth. We've also always had a fascination with space and what space exploration means in the long term.
Once upon a time it might have meant trying to find a new home amongst the stars. These days, however, it's often about trying to understand our environment and the challenges facing the Earth.
In recent years, practical experiments on the Space Station have looked at how to grow crops in an environment with limited resources. (In case you're wondering, lettuce, peas, radishes, zinnias, and even sunflowers have been grown on the Space Station.)
As the (paraphrased) saying goes, however, astronauts do not live by lettuce alone, and being in space can get a little monotonous. So what better way to liven up those endless hours than with a story or two?
There's research out there outlining the benefits of reading aloud to children, including helping with bonding between parents or caregivers and children, helping with the learning process, and generally improving wellbeing. Many of the astronauts who’ve worked on the ISS are also parents, and they all know the value of a bedtime story. If you're in a role where you spend a lot of time away from your children, though, adding that personal touch can be a little tricky. There are examples of parents in the armed forces, for instance, taking part in projects to record bedtime stories so their families can hear their voice as they nod off to sleep.
So you can imagine we were tickled pink to hear that there are now storytime videos available from space. Some of them are even available in languages other than English – the ISS is known for being a location where the spirit of international co-operation is essential to its success. The only thing we think that would make the stories even better would be if they came in the form of a multilingual book or bilingual books!
Mantra Lingua is a family-based publisher of award winning multilingual education resources. We provide innovative, user-friendly solutions to the specific challenges facing teachers and students within the classroom, and at home. Our PENpal technology supports EFL and SEN students in particular and is also proving invaluable in the mainstream school market.