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Kimberly W. Land
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
(Phone: 757/864-9885, 344-8611 mobile)
k.w.land@larc.nasa.gov

Betty Shanahan
Society of Women Engineers, Chicago, IL
(Phone: 312/596-5223)
hq@swe.org

RELEASE NO. 03-019
 


March 21, 2003

NASA AND SOCIETY OF WOMEN ENGINEERS PARTNER TO INSPIRE ELEMENTARY STUDENTS

The NASA Langley Center for Distance Learning and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) have joined forces to inspire the next generation of explorers through the NASA SCIence Files™ program. This Emmy® award-winning show is a research, inquiry, and standards-based series of 60-minute instructional television programs for students in grades 3-5.

The goal of the partnership is to encourage young female students and to motivate them to pursue careers requiring advanced education in mathematics, science, and technology.

Studies show that girls do not take as many advanced mathematics and science courses as boys. This may be because of a lack of positive female role models or a belief that girls are limited in what they can achieve. With the help of NASA and SWE, career path options requiring advanced education in mathematics, science, and technology can be directed to girls.

The NASA SCIence Files™ use Problem-Based Learning (PBL), scientific inquiry, and the scientific method to motivate students to become critical thinkers and active problem solvers and to introduce them to careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Each program includes an instructional broadcast, educator's guide, and an interactive web site featuring a PBL activity. The show is based on six "tree house detectives" who solve "real world" problems with the help of NASA researchers, community experts, and members of the NASA SCIence Files™ Kids Club.

Elementary school teachers using the NASA SCIence Files™ program can request a SWE mentor by filling out a form on the NASA SCIence Files™ web site. The teachers will be matched with a SWE member who can assist the teacher either in person or via E-mail.

Founded in 1950, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a non-profit educational service organization dedicated to making known the need for women engineers and encouraging young women to consider an engineering education and career. To learn more about SWE visit

http://www.swe.org

About 200,000 educators nationwide, representing 4.5 million students, are registered users of the NASA SCIence Files™. To learn more about the NASA SCIence Files™ visit

http://scifiles.larc.nasa.gov

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