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02-003
For Release: January 14, 2002

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


The Sky is the Limit at New Educational Facility

Students in Winston-Salem, N.C., will soon be using the latest computer software and hardware to discover the world of science and technology, including learning how to design an aircraft and plot its flight or taking a virtual trip to the International Space Station.

NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, in partnership with Winston-Salem State University today dedicated an Aerospace Education Laboratory (AEL), which is part of the University's new Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) Program.

Among the dignitaries present were Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr., Chancellor, Winston-Salem State University; The Honorable Eva M. Clayton, 1st Congressional District; The Honorable Melvin L. Watt, 12th Congressional District; State Representative Warren C. Oldham, 67th District; Mayor Allen Joines of the City of Winston-Salem; and Dr. Donald L. Martin, Jr., Superintendent, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System. Representing NASA were Mr. George Reese, Associate Administrator for the Office of Equal Employment Opportunities at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and Mr. John Hairston, Jr., director of External Programs at Glenn.

"The young people who participate in this program will be the engineers, researchers, and computer experts of tomorrow," said Hairston. "The goal of this program is to inspire them to excel in the areas of math, science and technology so they may reach their full potential. "

SEMAA is an exciting program for underrepresented students in grades K-12. This hands-on program, free to the participating students, consists of three eight-week Saturday morning sessions featuring distinct curriculums for each grade level. They range from "Rocketeers," where kindergarteners explore dressing and eating while traveling in space to SEMAA internships that allow high school seniors to explore their own interests through individualized curriculums.

The Aeronautics Educational Laboratory (AEL) is a leap in classroom technology with a state-of-the-art, electronically enhanced computerized classroom that puts cutting-edge technology in the hands of students in grades seven through twelve. The laboratory was built and equipped with a combination of University and NASA funds for about $100,000 and is part of a nationwide network of similar programs across the country cosponsored by NASA. SEMAA, a vision of former Congressman Louis Stokes of Cleveland, was established in 1993 by Glenn and Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland to foster understanding and enthusiasm for math and science in school-age children. Since 1993, SEMAA has grown from a single location to multiple sites reaching thousands of students.

Additional information about SEMAA can be found at:
            www.semaa.net

For more information about AEL, see
            http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/MAEL/

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