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Kathy Barnstorff
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
(Office: 757/864-9886/Cellular: 757 344-8511)

RELEASE: 03-045
 


June 26, 2003

FORDYCE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS INSPIRE NASA AUDIENCE

Karen Ballance and Cory Culp students at Fordyce High School, Fordyce, Ark., and their physical science-biology teacher Mrs. Pamela Vaughan, helped inspire a group of aerospace engineers earlier this month at NASA's Turning Goals into Reality Conference in Williamsburg, Va.

Each year NASA's Office of Aerospace Technology sponsors a technical conference called "Turning Goals into Reality" (TGIR), which is attended by engineers and managers from government, industry and academia nation-wide. A highlight of TGIR is the annual awards banquet, at which NASA recognizes engineers and others who have made significant contributions to aerospace research.

Because the Office of Aerospace Technology has a strong interest in promoting education, it has become a tradition to include a student presentation on the TGIR agenda. This year NASA invited Vaughan to bring Ballance and Culp to Williamsburg to make a presentation at the TGIR banquet, which was held June 11 at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, Va.

The soon-to-be tenth-graders demonstrated for conference attendees how they used a NASA Aerospace Technology educational program (Earth to Orbit: Engineering Design Challenge) in their physical science class.

With the aid of a computer presentation, complete with graphics, video and a little humor, the students told the audience about the results of a classroom assignment to build and test an effective propeller.

Their lesson not only reminded the audience of engineers how important it is to teach and use scientific methods, but also it helped emphasize to the group how critical it is to make learning about aerospace technology interesting to the next generation.

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