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January 31, 2007

Dryden Flight Research Center
P.O. Box 273
Edwards, California 93523
Phone 661/276-3449
FAX 661/276-3566

Beth Hagenauer
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
Phone: 661/276-7960

Phoenix Teachers to Experiment Aboard NASA'S 'Weightless Wonder'

Houston - NASA has selected a team of teachers from Arrowhead Elementary School, 3820 E. Nisbet in Phoenix, to fly an experiment aboard the agency's reduced gravity aircraft, a modified McDonnell Douglas DC-9 dubbed the "Weightless Wonder."

Arrowhead's student / teacher experiment, Static Electric Charges, will explore whether the duration of static charge attraction will last longer or shorter in microgravity than when in Earth's gravity. Three months after the flight, the team will issue a final report that analyses the experiment's effectiveness, scientific findings and what conclusions were drawn from those results.

Arrowhead teachers Carol Jessen and Julie Barncastle will travel to NASA's aircraft facility at Ellington Field and the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Feb. 9. Michelle Davis, pre-college officer at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., will also test the school's experiment onboard the C-9. Following their flight, the teachers will share their experiences and immediate findings with students back at home during a Feb. 14 video conference through NASA's Digital Learning Network.

The school was one of 20 NASA Explorer School (NES) teams selected for this unique experience, which will give teachers a feel of space as the aircraft carefully executes a series of parabolic maneuvers. To produce each parabola, the C-9 will make a steep climb followed by an equally steep dive, creating about 25 seconds of weightlessness.

Arrowhead was selected a NASA Explorer School in 2005, giving the school an opportunity to propose a reduced gravity experiment. The NES program, which now has 175 teams nationwide, allows schools and their communities to work with NASA in a three-year partnership to interest students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. With this program, NASA continues the agency's tradition of investing in the Nation's education programs.

For more information on NASA Explorer Schools on the Internet, go to:



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