Pocket.watch and its franchise partner, Ryan’s World are embarking on a mission to ignite curiosity and engagement in STEM education and space exploration through a video interview with NASA.
Nine year old Ryan Kaji will interview two astronauts currently living and working on the International Space Station – NASA’s Megan McArthur and the Japan Aeorspace Exploration Agency’s own Akihiko Hoshide in a conversation taking place live on Thursday, July 22.
Kaji will be the first child YouTube creator to visit the full-scale engineering twin model of NASA’s Mars rover, Perseverance, and the Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California.
The interview with McArthur, the pilot of NASA’s Crew-2 mission to the space station and Hoshide, the third Japanese astronaut to walk in space, will aim to encourage STEM education among children, whom NASA deems the Artemis Generation. This is the generation that will witness and be a part of the first woman and the first person of colour to explore the lunar south pole as part of the Artemis program.
As the space agency preps its program, pocket.watch and the Kaji family are hopeful the event will promote interest in space exploration and technology among children in Ryan’s generation.
“Becoming a YouTuber today is as popular as becoming an astronaut was for previous generations. We recognize pocket.watch and Ryan’s World’s unique position to promote interest in science, technology and space exploration through this invaluable opportunity with NASA,” said Kerry Tucker, chief marketing and franchise officer of pocket.watch.
“We look forward to reigniting careers in S.T.E.M. as NASA heads back to the moon and eventual journey outward to Mars.”
Shion Kaji, Ryan’s father and founder of the family’s production company, Sunlight Entertainment, said: “Educational videos, including science experiments and history lessons, are a huge part of the content we produce for the Ryan’s World YouTube channel, so we’re excited for this opportunity of a lifetime with NASA to deliver more fun learning content that kids can look forward to.
“We know a lot of kids look up to Ryan, so continuing to provide videos that spark new interest means so much to us.”
Ryan’s interview with the astronauts will stream live on NASA’s YouTube channel and the Ryan’s World YouTube channel. Content from the exclusive visit to JPL and footage of the interview will be available on the Ryan’s World YouTube channel, the Ryan & Friends OTT channel and the pocket.watch OTT network which spans many different platforms and services.