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01-072
For Release: September 10, 2001

Sally V. Harrington
Media Relations Office
216/433-2037
Sally.V.Harrington@nasa.gov


Ann Hardy
Brunswick County Schools
910-253-2910
ahardy@co.brunswick.k12.nc.us

NASA's Mobile Aeronautics Education Laboratory Offers Brunswick Students Aerospace Activities

A unique traveling classroom that brings cutting-edge "hands-on/minds-on" activities is visiting the Brunswick Learning Center in Southport, N.C., thanks to the creative and visionary collaboration of Congressman Mike McIntyre of N.C. and NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Following an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 10, the Mobile Aeronautics Education Laboratory (MAEL) will be open to local school classes throughout the week. The public is invited to walk through this unique facility on Wednesday, September 12, from 6 to 8 p.m.

"One of the primary goals of the MAEL is to motivate students to consider careers in technology, engineering and science. We also hope that the MAEL will provide educational programs, especially for students in underserved areas, that engage students in the problem-solving skills of math and science," said John M. Hairston, Jr., director of External Programs at Glenn.

"NASA has launched students into a whole new frontier of learning capability with its Mobile Aeronautics Education Laboratory," said Congressman McIntyre. "By providing our young people the opportunity to explore science and engineering, NASA is opening new horizons to broaden the minds of our leaders of tomorrow. I look forward to joining them in this exciting day!"

Ten computerized workstations in the MAEL engage students in grades 6 and up in activities designed to exemplify and simulate a cross-country flight or a trip to the International Space Station. Now in its fifth year of operation, the MAEL has crossed the country bringing its unique classroom to thousands of students in 39 states.

The workstations support either an Aeronautics Scenario or a Microgravity Scenario. The Aeronautics Scenario features activities ranging from aircraft design and remote sensing to using the Internet to locate and reserve a hotel room in San Francisco---the final destination of their simulated cross-country flight. The Microgravity Scenario features activities ranging from living in space to a simulated fly-around of the International Space Station. The curricula in both scenarios has been designed to correspond to national math and science standards by applying inquiry-based, problem-solving skills and content through the use of simulation and experiential learning.

Exposure to the MAEL has sparked several communities around the country to replicate it in a static, classroom environment. To date 19 MAEL replications have been implemented at sites including: Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, Ohio; University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.; Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio; Wayne County Community College, Detroit, Mich.; The Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton, Va.: York College, Jamaica, N.Y.; and The University of Puerto Rico (Arecibo Campus).

Further information about the MAEL can be found at http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/MAEL

The schedule for visits from local schools and the public is attached.

# # #

MAEL Visitation Schedule
September 10-14, 2001

Monday, September 10
            11:00 am - 12:00        Mission 1: Brunswick Learning Center students
            1:00 pm - 2:00           Mission 2: Brunswick Learning Center students
            2:30 pm - 3:30            Mission 3: Brunswick Learning Center staff
            4:00 pm - 5:00            Open schedule

Tuesday, September 11
            9:00 am - 10:00          Mission 1: South Brunswick High School students
            10:30 am - 11:30        Mission 2: South Brunswick High School students
            1:00 pm - 2:00            Mission 3: South Brunswick High School students
            3:30 pm - 4:30            Mission 4: South Brunswick High School staff

Wednesday, September 12
            9:00 am - 10:00          Mission 1: South Brunswick Middle School students
            10:30 am - 11:30        Mission 2: South Brunswick Middle School students
            1:00 pm - 2:00            Mission 3: South Brunswick Middle School students
            3:30 pm - 4:30            Mission 4: South Brunswick Middle School staff

            6:00 pm - 8:00            Open to the public for viewing

Thursday, September 13
            9:00 am - 10:00          Mission 1: South Elementary School students
            10:30 am - 11:30        Mission 2: South Elementary School students
            1:00 pm - 2:00            Mission 3: South Elementary School students
            3:30 pm - 4:30            Mission 4: South Elementary School staff

Friday, September 14
            9:00am - 10:00            Mission 1: Virginia Williamson School students
            10:30am - 11:30          Mission 2: Virginia Williamson School students


 

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