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Marny Skora
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
(Phone: 757/864-3315)
marny.skora@nasa.gov

Megan Butler
Houghton Mifflin Company
(Phone: 631/547-0993)
mbutler1@optonline.net

Jason Rumminger
Columbia Pictures
(Phone: 310/244-5788)
jason_rumminger@spe.sony.com
 
11.10.05
 
NOTE TO EDITORS : 05-075
 
 
Exploration Prompts Meeting of Art and Science
 
 

An award-winning author of best selling children's books has spent 26 years asking readers the same question NASA asks every day: What if . . . ?

Chris Van Allsburg will join NASA scientist Jennifer Keyes as the celebrity guest on NASA's Digital Learning Network series of videoconferences with students and teachers from Alaska to Florida on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. The author will encourage students to use their imaginations, answer questions and advise them to keep asking "What if . . .?"

Van Allsburg's latest book to make a big screen debut, "Zathura," takes on a space theme. Instantly, two brothers are thrust into NASA's world - outer space - with a touch of fantasy.

Media are invited to view Van Allsburg's and Keyes' interaction with students in their local area and interview them via telephone at a news conference at 2 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Nov. 16. The toll-free dial-in number is 888-889-4951; the passcode is "Van Allsburg."

Under the auspices of a Space Act Agreement, NASA, Columbia Pictures, Culver City, Calif., and the Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, are partnering to create resources for educators that spark student imagination, encourage interest in space exploration and enhance the elementary science curriculum.

Houghton Mifflin has published all 15 of Van Allsburg's books including his two most popular, Caldecott Medal winners "Jumanji" and "The Polar Express," both of which were made into major motion pictures. "Zathura," his third movie, is being released in theaters Nov. 11.

To broaden the number of students and teachers who can participate in this author-meets-scientist experience, the videoconferences will be also webcast at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and a teacher session at 3:30 ET.

For more information about NASA's Digital Learning Network or to participate in the Nov. 16 webcasts, visit:

http://nasadln.nmsu.edu/dln/content/catalog/details/?cid=441

For more information about NASA's Education programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/education

Schools participating in the Digital Learning Network series of videoconferences with author/artist Chris Van Allsburg on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2005, are:

10 a.m. ET (Student Event)

  • West Ward Elementary School, Kileen, Texas
    School Point of contact: Tim Tidwell
  • K. W. Barrett Elementary School, Arlington, Va.
    School Point of Contact: Laurie Sullivan
  • Florence Middle School, Florence, Miss.
    School Point of Contact: Patti Lewis

1 p.m. ET (Student Event)

  • Pine Ridge Middle School, Naples, Fla.
    School Point of Contact: Sharon Lea
  • Kenneth Carberry Intermediate, Emmett, Ind.
    School Point of Contact: Vana Richards
  • Lakeview Elementary School, Huntington Beach, Calif.
    School Point of Contact: Colette Wright
  • Sterling Elementary School, Sterling, Alaska
    School Point of Contact: Alan Miller

3:30 p.m. ET (Teacher Event)

  • Cumberland Middle School, Cumberland, Wisc.
    School Point of Contact: Anna Mika
  • Joyce Kilmer Elementary School, Deerfield, Ill.
    School Point of Contact: Shara Fata
  • Franke Park Elementary School, Fort Wayne, Ind.
    School Point of Contact: Pamela Ghaffarian
  • Paisley IB World Magnet School, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, N.C.
    School Point of Contact: Jim Bott
 

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