Astronaut Encourages Students In Los Angeles
Headquarters, Washington March 19, 2003
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
|March 18, 2003
Selected as an astronaut in 1998,.Leland
D. Melvin received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from
the University of Richmond and a master of science degree in materials
science engineering from the University of Virginia.
NASA astronaut and former NFL player, Leland Melvin, will make several
public appearances in the Los Angeles area this week to explain
NASA's Educator Astronaut Program (EAP) and encourage interest among
young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Melvin, EAP co-program manager, has traveled the country meeting
students and teachers. The EAP, which began in January, is part
of NASA's effort to connect space exploration with the classroom
and to inspire the next generation of explorers.
"In addition to showing students just how much fun science
learning can be, I believe it is essential to highlight the need
for students to develop an academic and career plan of action that
includes alternatives, a plan B, if you will," Melvin said.
Injured at the cusp of his professional football career, Melvin
pursued an alternative passion for engineering that led to his application
to and acceptance into NASA's Permanent Astronaut Corps in 1998.
"Leland Melvin's visit to Southern California provides NASA
yet another great opportunity to reach out to young people to get
them excited about science and learning, by meeting a young astronaut
who is passionate about the adventure of exploration," said
Adena Williams Loston, NASA's Associate Administrator for Education.
For the first time, NASA is recruiting individuals with specific
experience and expertise in K-12 education. Through EAP, NASA plans
to send teachers into space as fully trained astronauts. Melvin
will encourage students to nominate their teachers for the EAP.
The EAP application deadline is April 30, 2003.
11:30 a.m. PST, March 20: Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim: Melvin
will sign autographs at the NASA exhibit and talk with participants
of the National Society of Black Engineers' 29th Annual Conference
about the EAP and NASA education initiatives.
2:30 p.m. PST, March 20: Anaheim Marriott Hotel, Anaheim: Melvin
will present awards at the National Society of Black Engineers'
29th Annual Conference, at the Rocketry Design Program workshop,
an event targeting high school students with engineering career
10:00 a.m. PST, March 21: Vanguard Learning Center, Compton: Melvin
will meet with students grades 4 through 8 and teachers of science
classes from the Compton Unified School District to discuss the
1:00 p.m. PST, March 21: Elliott Middle School, Pasadena: Melvin
will meet with students, teachers and local public officials to
4:00 p.m. PST, March 21: California Science Center, Los Angeles
(700 State Drive): Melvin will meet with Los Angeles area science
teachers, students, and the general public to discuss EAP, and to
encourage interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Congresswoman Diane Watson, 33rd Congressional District, will introduce
Melvin, and offer her support of the EAP.
For more information about NASA, the EAP, application process, and
eligibility requirements, on the Internet, visit:
For more information about other NASA education initiatives on the
To schedule an interview with Melvin, in conjunction with his Los
Angeles area appearances, contact Carolina Martinez at: 818/354-9382.
For more information about NASA on the Internet, visit:
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