The Language of Science
The Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge logo
The nation's premier vocabulary competition got a little more scientific this year with help from NASA.

Editors for the Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge collaborated with NASA to develop science-themed questions, such as "What is the derivation of the word 'astronaut?'" The 2007 competition took place May 13-15, in Orlando, Fla.

Image to right: The Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge is a vocabulary contest and an educational outreach program of Reader's Digest magazine. Credit: Reader's Digest

The integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics terminology into the country's leading literacy competition enlivened the program with fresh new topics and introduced those subject areas to an even greater number of young learners. More than 2 million students participated in this year's Word Power Challenge, which awarded $50,000 in college scholarships.

The Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge is a vocabulary contest and an educational outreach program of Reader's Digest magazine. Students compete at the classroom, school, state and national level. Only students in the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grades advance to the state-level contest, and the first-place winner from each state advances to the national competition.

The partnership between the Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge and NASA benefited students by exposing them to exciting mathematical concepts and scientific terminology. The partnership also supports NASA's goal of attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines.

"NASA continues to look for new initiatives to cultivate future explorers and innovators," said Assistant Administrator for Education Joyce Winterton. "Partnering with Reader's Digest is ideal because programs like the Word Power Challenge present science and math concepts in a friendly, accessible format for students."

Related Resources
+ The Reader's Digest Word Power Challenge

+ NASA Education Web site
Increased technical vocabulary will help students develop stronger language skills useful for decoding instructions, comprehending word problems, performing research and describing their work. Those skills will enhance students' career opportunities as well as their ability to develop and understand public policy.

"In today's highly competitive world, students need to be able to communicate effectively across a wide variety of subjects," said Kathleen Bordelon, executive director of the Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge. "Our partnership with NASA, a national leader in scientific innovation, extends the Word Power Challenge across the curriculum."

A television special based on the National Word Power Challenge will be broadcast on NBC stations this summer, hosted by Al Roker of NBC's "Today" show.

Reader's Digest and NASA will also provide links to vocabulary quizzes on their respective Web sites that will highlight space exploration and the history of aeronautics.

NBC-Owned and Operated:
Location Date Time
Chicago July 28 1-2 p.m.
Dallas July 21 1-2 p.m.
Hartford, Conn. July 28 1-2 p.m.
Los Angeles July 29 10-11 a.m.
Miami June 23 1-2 p.m.
New York City Aug. 4 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Washington D.C. Aug. 4 2-3 p.m.

Affiliate Stations:
WNYT -- Albany, N.Y. Aug. 25 1:30 p.m.
WXIA -- Atlanta, Ga. July 21 1 p.m.
WLBZ -- Bangor, Maine July 15 2 p.m.
WCYB -- Bristol-Tri Cities, Tenn. July 28 2 p.m.
WCBD -- Charleston, S.C. Aug. 24 2 p.m.
WBOY -- Clarksburg, W.Va. July 21 7 p.m.
KRIS -- Corpus Christi, Texas June 24 11 a.m.
KWQC -- Davenport, Iowa July 22 noon
WICU -- Erie, Pa. July 21 1 p.m.
KSEE -- Fresno, Calif. Aug. 4 4 p.m.
WSAZ -- Huntington W.Va. June 23 noon
WJAC -- Johnstown, Pa. June 23 1 p.m.
KATH -- Juneau, Alaska July 15 4 p.m.
WGAL -- Lancaster, Pa. July 28 7 p.m.
KVBC -- Las Vegas, Nev. July 15 11 a.m.
WLIO -- Lima, Ohio June 23 1 p.m.
WSFA -- Montgomery, Ala. July 28 1 p.m.
WOWT -- Omaha, Neb. July 28 1 p.m.
WESH -- Orlando, Fla. Aug. 12 12:30 p.m.
WCSH -- Portland, Maine July 15 2 p.m.
WWBT -- Richmond, Va. Aug. 4 1 p.m.
KTTC -- Rochester, Minn. July 21 12:30 p.m.
KTIV -- Sioux City, Iowa July 14 1 p.m.
KSCT -- Sitka, Alaska July 15 4 p.m.
WBRE -- Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Aug. 12 12:30 p.m.

Heather R. Smith/NASA Educational Technology Services