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Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters, Washington
Phone: 202/358-1726
Jonas Dino
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650/604-5612 650/207-3280

Jan. 21, 2005
NASA to Help Celebrate Onizuka Legacy in Hawaii
NASA's Chief Education Officer, Dr. Adena Loston and Expedition 9 astronaut Michael Finke will join the Onizuka family to celebrate the life of astronaut Ellison Onizuka.

Fincke and Loston will be the honored guests at the 2005 Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day on Saturday, Jan 29, 2005, at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. News media representatives are invited to cover the event.

2005 Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day

Date: Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005
Schedule: 9:30 a.m. HAST
Opening assembly with keynote speaker astronaut Michael Finke
10:45 a.m. HAST Workshop session I
11:45 a.m. HAST Workshop session II
2:00 p.m. HAST Closing general assembly including science magic demonstrations
Who: NASA Chief Education Officer Adena Loston and astronaut Michael Fincke
Where: University of Hawaii at Hilo, 200 W. Kawili St., Hilo, Hawaii

"NASA is honored to join the Onizuka Family in celebrating the legacy of astronaut Ellison Onizuka," said Loston. "Engaging students through the Onizuka Science Day will help NASA fulfill the vision of exploring the moon, Mars and beyond."

"Your vision is not limited by what your eye can see, but by what your mind can imagine."
- Ellison Onizuka, 1980

"Ellison's dream was to share his experiences with the children and adults of Hawaii. Unfortunately, his life ended in the tragedy of the space shuttle Challenger," said Claude Onizuka, Elison Onizuka's brother. "We are committed to perpetuating Ellison's legacy. The Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day is an exciting event that helps us carry on his legacy. The dream is alive, and the journey continues," he added.

Onizuka Science Day was initiated in 2001 as an annual tribute to the legacy of Hawaii astronaut Ellison Onizuka. The event is an opportunity to engage students and parents in relevant and exciting hands-on science workshops and displays provided by the scientific and educational community. Onizuka Science Day is a collaborative effort between the Onizuka Memorial Committee, American Savings Bank, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and the NASA Hawaii Space Grant Consortium. American Savings Bank, Honolulu, Hawaii, is the major corporate sponsor for the event.

Loston is a veteran educator with more than 30 years of experience in higher education. Loston holds a master's and doctor of philosophy degrees and she has served in various educational positions, including president of San Jacinto College South in Houston and as dean of professional programs and dean of vocational education. In 2002, Loston assumed her duties as NASA's top educator and oversees NASA's efforts to organize and enhance the agency's education programs.

Astronaut Michael Fincke, a Lt. Col. in the United States Air Force and a native of Pennsylvania, is married with two children. Fincke holds numerous degrees, including master's degrees in planetary geology and aeronautics and astronautics. Selected in 1996 to join the astronaut corps, Fincke recently completed 187 days in orbit onboard the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Expedition 9 crew. While on the ISS, Fincke participated in four spacewalks, logging more than 15 hours of extra vehicular activity time.

For more information about the 2005 Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day, visit:


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