Educator News

NASA Official and Astronaut to Visit Union City Explorer School
09.16.04
Jonas Dino
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650/604-5612 or 650/207-3280
Email: jonas.dino@nasa.gov

Note to Editors: 04-88AR

Anngie Johnson, senior advisor to NASA's chief engineer, and astronaut Rex Walheim will share NASA's Vision for Space Exploration and how students will be an integral part of making the vision a reality, with the next generation of explorers at Barnard-White Middle School in Union City on Sept. 22, 2004. News media representative are invited to cover the event.

Date:
Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2004

Schedule:
8:40 a.m. PDT Welcome Remarks
8:45 a.m. PDT NASA Explorer School Presentation
10:00 a.m. PDT Media Opportunity
11:00 a.m. PDT Lunch with an Astronaut
5:30 p.m. PDT Back-to-School BBQ

Who:
Anngie Johnson, senior advisor to NASA's chief engineer and astronaut Rex Walheim.

Where:
Barnard-White Middle School, 725 Whipple Road, Union City, Calif.

"The success of the Mars Exploration Rovers and the Cassini mission to Saturn have re-fueled the excitement of the American public for the exploration of space," said Johnson. "It is NASA's goal that students from the Explorer Schools will be among the scientists, engineers and astronauts that will make NASA's Vision for Space Exploration a reality."

The NASA Explorer School program provides exciting opportunities for schools, administrators, students and their families to partner with NASA to improve student learning; participate in authentic experiences with NASA science and technology; apply NASA science, mathematics and technology knowledge to real-world issues and problems; and participate in special events.

"We are tremendously excited about the potential of this partnership with NASA. I am particularly pleased by the level of collaboration and collegial planning it is fostering among our staff," said Gustavo Samaniego, principal of Barnard-White Middle School. "The students' curiosity is piqued. They want to know more, they're asking excellent questions and are anxiously awaiting the visit of our astronaut, Rex Walheim, next week. We look forward to continued opportunities to open new doors and new worlds to our students," he added.

Dr. Anngienetta Johnson is a 36-year NASA veteran who has held many positions of responsibility within the agency, including NASA's assistant chief engineer and director of program planning and development in NASA's Office of Earth Science. Johnson earned a bachelors degree in mathematics from Texas Woman's University, Houston, a MBA from the University of Houston at Clear Lake and a masters degree in information systems management and a doctor of science degree in engineering management with a specialty in emergency management from George Washington University's Institute of Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management.

A tireless advocate for women in the federal government, Johnson has been recognized for her expertise and outstanding achievements by her peers, within NASA and the federal government including Outstanding Woman of the Decade in 1977 and Volunteer of the Year in 1996.

Astronaut Rex Walheim, a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force (USAF), was selected in 1996 to join the astronaut corps as a mission specialist. Walheim served on STS-110 Atlantis' (EVA) extravehicular activity crew that installed the S-Zero truss on the International Space Station in 2002. Walheim has logged more than 259 hours in space including more than 14 EVA hours.

Walheim is a native of the San Francisco Bay area and graduated in 1980 from San Carlos High School. He graduated from the University of California at Berkley in 1984 with a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering and was the Distinguished Graduate in his ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) class. At the USAF Test Pilot School, he again earned Distinguished Graduate and was named top flight test engineer. He has received numerous USAF service awards including two Air Force Commendation Medals and an Aerial Achievement Medal.

News media interested in attending the NASA Explorer School visit or interview Johnson or Walheim in conjunction with their visit to Barnard-White Middle School should contact Jonas Dino of NASA Ames at 650/604-5612 by 3:00 p.m. PDT, Tuesday, Sept. 21. All news media representatives will be required to sign in at the school's main office prior to entering the campus.

For information about the NASA Explorer Schools Program, visit:
http://explorerschools.nasa.gov

For more information about the Vision for Space Exploration, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/missions/solarsystem/bush_vision.html

For information about NASA, go to:
http://www.nasa.gov