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Dec. 10, 2002

Jonas Diño                                                                                                    
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650/604-5612 or 650/604-9000
Email: jdino@mail.arc.nasa.gov


RELEASE: 02-132AR

NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: News media representatives are invited to join approximately 1,500 Bay area students, teachers and parents at Aero Expo III at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. The expo will start at 9:00 a.m. PST and will feature Robert Jacobsen, Airspace Systems Program manager discussing the past 100 years of powered flight and current and future NASA aerospace technologies. Students also will tour several unique NASA facilities including FutureFlight Central, the Vertical Motion Simulator, and the 80-foot by 120-foot wind tunnel. The expo experience will culminate with students engaging in hands-on activities in the Aero Village in Hangar N-211. From San Francisco, take US 101 south; from San Jose take US 101 north to the Moffett Field exit. US media must bring valid picture ID. Foreign media must call Jonas Diño at 650/604-5612 to request clearance to attend.

NASA INSPIRES THE NEXT GENERATION OF AEROSPACE ENGINEERS

As the country reflects on the first 100 years of powered flight, NASA is reaching out to the students who will shape the next 100 years of aerospace.

On Dec. 11 and 12, approximately 1,500 fifth- through eighth-grade students, teachers and parents from the around the Bay area will participate in Aero Expo III at NASA Ames Research Center, located in California's Silicon Valley. Aero Expo III is the third in a series of Centennial of Flight celebrations sponsored by NASA's Airspace Systems Program in collaboration with NASA Ames' Education Office. The theme for the expo is ‘Future Flight Technologies.’

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to support activities like Aero Expo III. Our goal with this event is to encourage the nation’s youth to pursue careers in math and science. We hope to create a spark that will fire the imagination of a new generation of NASA aerospace engineers," said Robert Jacobsen, manager for NASA's Airspace Systems Program.

Students will engage in a full day's activities beginning with a presentation and question-and-answer session with Jacobsen on the past, present and future of aerospace. For students unable to come to NASA Ames for the event, Jacobsen will be the featured guest for a one-hour Web cast about the past, present and future of aerospace on Dec. 12, at 10:00 a.m. PST. Also participating will be Nick Engler, director and chief builder of the Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company.

After the presentation, students will tour several NASA facilities, including FutureFlight Central, the Vertical Motion Simulator, the 80-foot by 120-foot wind tunnel, the 20-G centrifuge, and the fluid mechanics, neuro/robotics and air traffic management laboratories.

The expo experience will culminate at Aero Village in NASA Ames’ Hangar N-211. In the hangar, various NASA Ames technical programs and educational organization such as the Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, Calif., and the Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos, Calif., will have interactive and hands-on activities to stimulate and motivate students to pursue further education in math, science and technology.

"Hosting an event like this is an exciting challenge and takes the support of many. The staff at NASA Ames takes seriously the opportunity to share with students and teachers NASA’s research and programs. As the day progresses, seeing the faces of students 'light-up' like a full moon is priceless," said Laura Shawnee, of NASA Ames’ Education Office. "Centennial of Flight activities like Aero Expo III are a great way to reach out to students; they are NASA's next generation of researchers and engineers."

NASA's Airspace Systems Program continues its long tradition of supporting aerospace education with Aero Expo III. NASA's Airspace Systems Program benefits air travelers by conducting research that reduces delays, allowing more air travelers to fly safely and efficiently. NASA Ames Research Center has been a leader in air traffic control research and development since the mid-1980s.

For more information about Aero Expo III or to participate in the Dec. 12 Web cast, visit:

http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/projects/aero/centennial/expo3/index.html

More information about NASA Airspace Systems Program is available at:

http://www.asc.nasa.gov/

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