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April 20, 1998

John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

(Phone: 650/604-5026 or 604-9000)

email: jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov


RELEASE: 98-25AR

NASA HOSTS WEB CHATS FOR "TAKE OUR DAUGHTERS TO WORK DAY"

Hundreds of thousands of young people from around the globe are expected to use the Internet to "chat" with prominent women on April 23, "Take Our Daughters to Work Day."

Ten women will be interviewed via World Wide Web chats enabled by NASA. During the chats, young people will use computers to converse with the women by typing questions and reading responses and dialogue via the World Wide Web.

"We have designed this event to give young people who cannot otherwise speak with women in the work force the opportunity to meet on-line and discuss opportunities in a variety of careers," said executive producer Tish Krieg of NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, where the event will originate. "The women also will provide insight into the professional and personal aspects of their lives."

The one-hour web chats will take place on Thursday, April 23, from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., PDT. The Internet URL is:

http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/women/intro.html

The women include: Judy Woodruff, Cable News Network anchor; Jessica Stern, an expert on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction who was the model for the film "The Peacemaker"; Chitra Divakiruni, novelist and author of the best sellers "Arranged Marriage" and "Mistress of Spices"; Leslie Ann Jones, multiple Academy Award winner for film scoring at Skywalker Sound; Donna Shirley, manager of the Mars Exploration Directorate at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA; Kim Polese, Chief Executive Officer of Marimba, Inc.; Lynda Plettner, professional dog musher and six-time finisher of the Iditarod race; Loretha Jones, executive producer of "The Parenthood" weekly television show; Stephanie Herman, Principal Ballerina and founder of Esprit de Danse; and Susan Kovalik, author and pioneer in the brain-compatible learning movement.

Participation is easy. "If you have a personal computer with Internet access and web browser software, you can log onto the NASA site to see a schedule, background information about the women, chat instructions and pre-registration materials. Then, on April 23, go to the chat room, and follow directions," Krieg said.

"Because the capacity for interactive questions is limited, a first-come, first-served pre-registration via the Internet is necessary for youngsters to be able to chat," she said. "All others can observe the conversations, which will be very informative and exciting experiences in themselves," she said.

The Daughters' Day virtual event is sponsored by "The Women of NASA" project, one of many interactive projects provided by NASA's K-12 Internet Initiative at Ames. The "Women of NASA" project includes weekly chats with NASA women, said Ames' Learning Technologies Project Manager Karen Traicoff. The Learning Technologies Project supports "Women of NASA" and the other projects.

"The overall mission of our projects is to bring NASA into the classroom," Krieg added. "We sponsor on-line, interactive Internet activities that connect students with NASA people and their work. If we can give children opportunities to personally interact with professionals, then learning becomes an exciting experience," she said.

The Learning Technologies Project is managed by NASA's High Performance Computing and Communications Program at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

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