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Sept. 28, 2000

John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

650/604-5026 or 604-9000

jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov


RELEASE 00-64AR

NASA FEATURES INTERNET WEBCASTS/CHATS FOR WORLD SPACE WEEK

NASA female scientists, engineers and technicians will be the focus of Internet chats and webcasts on Oct. 5 during World Space Week, which also coincides with the next Space Shuttle mission.

Webcasts enable students to watch live video, listen to audio and interact in real-time with experts participating in NASA programs.

"This is part of an on-going series of Internet webcasts and other activities that provide students with first-hand contact with women and men involved with the Space Shuttle, as well as with making the International Space Station a reality," said Linda Conrad, space team online manager for the NASA Quest website at Ames Research Center in the heart of California's Silicon Valley. "Each webcast is designed to engage the classroom in science and mathematics, including lesson plans and curricula developed by NASA."

Additional Internet activities also are slated for the rest of World Space Week, Oct. 2 - 6, as NASA experts interact with K-12 students worldwide at:

http://quest.nasa.gov/space/events/cc

"Perhaps the most fun part of my job is the day-to-day contact with crew members and the opportunity to learn something new about the most complex flying machine in the history of mankind," said support engineer for flight crew operations Lonnie Moffitt of NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX. Moffitt is scheduled to kick off the Internet chat sessions on Mon., Oct. 2, from 10:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. PDT (1:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m. EDT).

On Oct. 5, "Women of NASA" will host a day-long series of interactive events, featuring female scientists and engineers involved in launching the Space Shuttle and in processing International Space Station hardware for launch. Girl Scouts across the country will be able to complete components of the Girl Scout space badge by participating in interactive events.

"NASA's Back-to-School Special" will feature women at NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL, in interactive Internet chats and forums. NASA women will participate in video interviews during the October launch and also will serve as on-line mentors.

"Girl reporters shadowed and videotaped interviews with NASA female scientists and engineers involved with Space Shuttle launches and the International Space Station," said Terri Hudkins of NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. The resulting 3-to-4-minute videotapes are scheduled for broadcast during the Oct. 5 webcasts, if the Shuttle launches as planned, according to Hudkins.

NASA will add video profiles of the women to NASA Quest web pages to give young women a more personalized feeling of space-related careers. The web pages also will feature several of the girl reporters, who will relate their Shuttle launch experiences. Launch day will culminate in a live webcast from NASA Kennedy starting one-and-a-half hours before the STS-92 liftoff, scheduled for an optimal launch time of 6:38 p.m. PDT (9:38 p.m. EDT) on Oct. 5.

NASA Quest and Classroom Connect, an Internet company that writes curricula, will produce "NASA: A Shuttle Mission," webcasts for World Space Week. Guest scientists, engineers and educators will take part in the webcasts. A complete schedule for this and other webcasts is on the Quest website, at http://quest.nasa.gov/common/events

Educational web events will continue this month and will run through May 2001. These activities, including "Under Construction-The International Space Station," will originate from the Kennedy Space Center. The webcasts will offer tours of space center locations typically not open to the public, with insights from the people who work there.

"Classrooms will have a direct connection to NASA experts while student questions are being answered ‘in living color,’ broadcast live via the Internet to desktop computers and a worldwide audience," said Conrad. "Feedback from teachers shows that NASA Quest's showcasing of careers that use science and math increases student enthusiasm for studying these subjects."

For more information about the Internet webcasts and chats slated for the Oct. 5 "Women of NASA Back to School Special Series," please telephone Hudkins at 202/358-1977. For more details about the rest of the week's Internet activities, including the "launch" webcast, please call Conrad at 408/230-4560, while she is on location at Kennedy Space Center from Oct. 2 - 6. She also can be reached via e-mail, lconrad@mail.arc.nasa.gov, during the week.

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