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A Real-Time Chat with …

Stephanie Wong

Co-founder of Imagiverse.Org
Engineering Student
University of Alberta
Alberta, Canada

Ms. Ferryman's 4th grade students of the Montessori School of Corona (California, USA) had many questions for Stephanie after reading her biography.  Sixteen students took turns gathering around the computer, five at a time, to ask questions of her.  Stephanie also asked them a few questions.  They answered the ones they knew and headed for the dictionary and World globe to find the answers they didn't know.  The names of the students (and any personal information) have been edited out of this transcript to protect their privacy.  For time constraints, some questions had to be asked without waiting for a reply to a previous questions.  We have moved the answers under the appropriate question to make the transcript more readable.

MSOC Elementary: Hello from Montessori School of Corona 4th Grade!

Stephanie: Hi everyone!

MSOC Elementary: What does Apollo mean?

Stephanie: Apollo was the name of the moon missions that landed humans on it. Apollo is one of the names of the gods in Greek mythology.

MSOC Elementary: What is geological?

Stephanie: Geological refers to geology, the study of the Earth (rocks, life, landforms).

MSOC Elementary: How does it feel to be in NASA?

Stephanie: Oh! I never "worked" for NASA, only volunteered. I have visited the space centers in Florida and Pasadena. It was so cool, a wonderful experience seeing the people who make it happen, seeing the shuttle. Excellent!

Stephanie: I even got to touch the space shuttle! :)

Stephanie: (with gloves, of course).

MSOC Elementary: Do you like kittens?

Stephanie: Kittens are absolutely adorable, especially the tabbies. Although I've never had pets, I do enjoy the company of animals.

MSOC Elementary: Do you like to dance?

Stephanie: I don't dance much, but I do listen to some dance music. Do you like to dance?

MSOC Elementary: yes i do,I do tap,ballet,hip-hop,and jazz!

Stephanie: Sounds like you have a lot of fun!

Stephanie: Here's some latest news just announced: Scientists have found 11 new moons orbiting Jupiter. That makes it the planet having the most moons (39 in total).

MSOC Elementary: what is NASA like?

Stephanie: NASA is a very large organization with many centers that manage a certain aspect of the space program. There are many interesting people that work there. They are very dedicated in the work they do. If you like space stuff, that is the place to go!

MSOC Elementary: What is a space shuttle made of?

Stephanie: A space shuttle, like a car, is made up of many things. The inner shell is made out of a metal (I forgot what it is), and the outside is covered with many ceramic tiles. The tiles are very special blocks that absorb the heat when the shuttle reenters the atmosphere (many thousands of degrees hot!)

MSOC Elementary: Do you like any other subjects besides science?

Stephanie: Yes, I love music, reading, television, hockey, plush animals... lots of things!

MSOC Elementary: Do you like any other instruments besides the flute and piano.

Stephanie: I like listening to all sorts of instruments. I also played the saxophone.

Stephanie: How many of you there play a musical instrument?

MSOC Elementary: We all like to play the recorder

Stephanie: I played that too! :)

MSOC Elementary: What is your favorite song?

Stephanie: That's a tough question! I like so many songs! Anything on the piano, I guess.

MSOC Elementary: What is your favorite kind of animal?

Stephanie: I know that if I wanted to get a pet I would want a parrot. Did you know parrots live about 60 years?

MSOC Elementary: No I didn't ,but that is interesting.What is your favorite kind of math?

Stephanie: I haven't learned about many kinds of math yet. There are generally 2 groups you can divide math in. Calculus, which involves things like Newton's 3 Laws of Motion (i.e. for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction), and Algebra, which has to do more with geometry and things in many dimensions. I like calculus more.

Stephanie: Does anyone know what is the 4th dimension?

MSOC Elementary: Is the fourth dimension time?

Stephanie: Yes! Time it is!

Stephanie: Who likes learning about other cultures?

MSOC Elementary: I like to learn about other cultures but I don't know. My mom is from Nicaragua (another country far away). My father is from Iran.

Stephanie: There is so much to learn even looking at a globe of the Earth. Can you find where I live on the globe?

MSOC Elementary: How many books do you read at the library?

Stephanie: I haven't had much time to read anything lately, but when I was about your age, I could finish an entire novel in a day or two.

Stephanie: I couldn't wait any longer to find out what happened at the end!

MSOC Elementary: Why do like Mars so much? Another thing is that we studied about China And I'll tell you something about it,

MSOC Elementary: There is Almost 1 billion people in China and the pandas eat 2 kinds of bamboos, (arrows and umbrellas)

Stephanie: There are 2 kinds of bamboo? I didn't know that!

Stephanie: Mars is the planet that is most like Earth. Sometimes, you might not even know you are looking at a picture of Mars, rather than Earth. I want to learn how alike our planetary neighbor is to us, and whether life existed there.

Stephanie: Take a look at these Mars pictures:

Stephanie: Also,

MSOC Elementary: How many instruments do you play now?

Stephanie: Of all the instruments that I learned to play, piano, flute, saxophone, recorder.

Stephanie: I tried both the alto and tenor saxophone. Which one sounds lower?

MSOC Elementary: When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?

Stephanie: When I was your age, I wanted to be a chemist.

MSOC Elementary: What is a chemist?

Stephanie: A chemist is someone who does chemistry as a job. A chemist can work on many things. For example, people are making paint that protects the surface from rusting. You don't really want your car to rust, do you? A chemist (and maybe a materials engineer) will try to make paint that prevents rusting.

MSOC Elementary: What was your favorite grade?

Stephanie: I think the most fun time I had was in grade 4! We used to have so much fun at recess! That was also the year I first learned French.

MSOC Elementary: We are in 4th grade too!

MSOC Elementary: Why do you want to [go to] Mars?

Stephanie: I want to go to Mars because going into space would be a wonderful experience! I want to step on Mars and see our tiny Earth in the distance. It makes us realize we are only a small speck in the universe.

MSOC Elementary: What is your favorite food?

Stephanie: I like lasagna.

MSOC Elementary: Where were you born?

Stephanie: I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where I am now.

Stephanie: Alberta is one of the 10 provinces in Canada. North of which US state is Alberta?

MSOC Elementary: Why don't you want to be a mathematician?

Stephanie: I find math interesting, but it is not something that I'd like to do as a career for the rest of my life. I don't think I am good enough at it to become a professional mathematician, but I'd like to apply it to other fields like engineering.

MSOC Elementary: Do you have any goals to achieve?

Stephanie: Goals? Many goals! I'm only 18 years old! I hope I haven't reached all my goals yet. Or else, what would I do? My most immediate goal is to get a university degree.

Stephanie: (or maybe to pass my finals in a month!)

Stephanie: What is the weather like in California today? It's very windy here.

MSOC Elementary: It's hot.

MSOC Elementary: The most interesting fact I learned about China was if the Great Wall was in the U.S. it would stretch from California to Ohio.

Stephanie: The Great Wall is indeed long. I believe that a shorter length was built and then it was extended later. Am I right?

Stephanie: What is the difference between Weather and Climate? Got your dictionaries around?

MSOC Elementary: I'm going to look it up.

MSOC Elementary: Climate is the average weather conditions of a place or region throughout the year.

Stephanie: That's correct. You already told me the weather today in California. What is the climate like in California?

MSOC Elementary: In Southern California the climate is usually warm and dry. In Riverside it snowed at 6:00 am one day.

MSOC Elementary: How many pages were in the encylopedia that you practically memorized?

Stephanie: Well, it's about a whole bookshelf long, so thousands of pages.

MSOC Elementary: Weather is the condition of air and atmosphere at a certain place in time.

MSOC Elementary: When did you start getting books from the adult level?

Stephanie: I remember reading Dr. Seuss books, books by Beatrix Potter. When I stared reading "bigger" books, I was in grade 3.

MSOC Elementary: When did you start the job for Imagiverse?

Stephanie: I started working on Imagiverse about one year ago. Imagiverse's "grand opening" launch occured last summer on someone's birthday. Ask Mrs. Mock to find out who it was!

MSOC Elementary: Do you like sports?

Stephanie: I don't go out to play sports much, but I love watching hockey, skating, and the Olympics on the TV.

MSOC Elementary: What is your favorite book?

Stephanie: When I was younger, my favorite book was by John Bellairs (The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull). Sound scary?

MSOC Elementary: Have you ever thought about being an astronaut.

Stephanie: I thought about being an astronaut. If that's something you want do, go for it! But remember, even astronauts have other jobs. They have to get really good in something else before they become astronauts. If someone asked me, I would.

MSOC Elementary: As a child, did you enjoy instruments and classical music?

Stephanie: I started playing piano when I was 7. I always found it fun to play and make noise. It took me a while longer to like classical music. I remember a long time ago when I would bug my parents every time they played classical CDs!

MSOC Elementary: thats cool!

MSOC Elementary: Do you like to work at Imagiverse?

Stephanie: Of course I like to work on Imagiverse! I love doing it! I love helping kids learn!

MSOC Elementary: How many years have you done instruments?

Stephanie: I had a little electronic keyboard for many years. I was 7 when I started having piano lessons and got a real piano.

MSOC Elementary: We found out that you write differently then we do!

Stephanie: How do I write differently than you?

MSOC Elementary: you wrote favorite favourite center centre

Stephanie: People spell things different in other countries. Often in Canada, some words have the extra "u" or reversed "er/re". For example, you say color, I say colour.

Stephanie: Also, when you say the alphabet, for the last letter, Z, you say it like "zee". I pronounce it "zed".

MSOC Elementary: Did you like spelling?

Stephanie: I was good in spelling, but I didn't necessarily like the spelling tests we had!

MSOC Elementary: Why did you choose to work at Imagiverse?

Stephanie: I met these awesome people that volunteered for the NASA Q&A and we wanted to create a website. I work on Imagiverse in my free time and I love it!

MSOC Elementary: How many languages do you speak?

Stephanie: I speak English, Chinese and a little bit of French.

Stephanie: There are many dialects in China. I speak Cantonese.

MSOC Elem: Well, school is almost over and we have to get ready to go home. Thank you for answering all our questions. Goodbye for now.

Stephanie: Thank you for all the great questions! Bye.

Interviews: 15 March 2003, 25 August 2003

- 17 May 2002


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Last Updated:
27 May 2002

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