While teachers generally try to discourage students from staring into space and dreaming — that’s exactly what they be doing starting Friday. The Iowa State University Extension Department is offering its “Space Week Science Challenge” to all schools in the state. Spokesman Jim Staker says it’s part of the extension’s Science Engineering and Technology program.He says they want to increase the students’ interest in space and science. Students can listen to special programs at the extension department’s website, and then take quizzes on them. Classes will receive prizes based on how well they do on the quizzes. Staker says studying space is a good way to get a kid’s interest.He says it’s exciting to dream about what’s out in space and it’s a way to draw the kids into thinking about science. Iowa native Peggy Whitson is the first science officer aboard the International Space Station. Staker says Whitson’s an added bonus is getting kids interested in science.He says Whitson is a good showcase of what is going on in the fields. Staker says students can participate via the Internet.Go to: www-dot-extension-dot-iastate-dot-edu-slash-e-dash-seu. When you get to the website, click on “pre-college”. The challenge begins Friday and runs through next Thursday (Oct 10).