Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NASA And NSTA Send Teachers Flying For Science In Microgravity


NASA and the National Science Teachers Association, or NSTA, have selected high school teachers from Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Washington to fly an experiment in microgravity.

This flight opportunity will allow high school teachers and students to propose, design, fabricate, and evaluate an experiment the teachers will fly in a reduced gravity environment. The overall experience will include scientific research, hands-on design and test operations aboard a modified Boeing 727 jetliner. Zero-Gravity Corp. of Las Vegas will conduct the flights the week of July 29 to Aug. 7 in cooperation with the Reduced Gravity Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

"This is another innovative NASA project for students and educators to work on actual flight projects that use the unique environment of space while applying their academic knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics," said Joyce Winterton, associate administrator for Education at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The teams selected to participate in the program are: Delaware Agriscience Teachers, Middletown High School, Middletown, Del.

--Dover High School/Capital School District in Dover, Del.
--A team of Einstein Fellows, who are teachers spending a year in Washington at a congressional office or a federal agency
--Fairport High School/Fairport Central School District in Fairport, N.Y.
--Fulton High School in Fulton, Mo.
--Greensboro Day School in Greensboro, N.C.
--Jackson High School in Jackson, Mo.
--Jefferson County Public Schools and Trussville City Schools/Hewitt Trussville High School in Homewood, Ala., and the University of Alabama, Birmingham
--Muscogee County School District in Columbus, Ga.
--New Deal High School/New Deal Independent School District in New Deal, Texas
--Northbrook High School/Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston
--Van Alstyne High School/Van Alstyne Independent School District in Van Alstyne, Texas

"For years NSTA and NASA have enjoyed a strong partnership that has benefited thousands of classroom science teachers," NSTA Executive Director Francis Eberle said. "We are excited we can bring the experience of 'weightless science' to scores of teachers and students nationwide with this program."

Teachers and students will share their experiences and research in a series of interactive Web seminars after the flight week. The seminars are held by NSTA and NASA's Teaching From Space office and Reduced Gravity Flight Opportunities Program. Teaching From Space manages NASA's Education Flight Projects, a national program for educators and students in kindergarten through 12th grade that facilitates and promotes learning opportunities using unique NASA content, facilities and flight platforms.

"This is a unique way to engage students and teachers in hands-on science, as well as give them a ride of a lifetime," said Susan White, director of Education at Johnson Space Center. "Our goal is for that excitement to be carried into the classroom."
The opportunity is one of NASA's many educational outreach programs to improve teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines critical to future space exploration missions.

For more information about the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Week Program, visit:

For more information about Teaching From Space, visit:

For more information about the National Science Teachers Association, visit:


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