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News Release 99-36

For Release: May 6, 1999

Kathleen A. Zona/Lori Rachul
NASA Glenn Research Center
(Bus: 216/433-2901)

Robert Norris
University of the District of Columbia
(Bus: 202/274-7461)

NASA Provides Grant to University of the District of Columbia for Program to Encourage and Prepare Students for Careers in Math and Science

CLEVELAND, OH - "Hands-on/minds-on" activities that model real-world challenges in aviation will be the course of study this summer for students from the University of the District of Columbia (UDC).

The NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH and UDC have established a Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) for kindergarten through 12th grade with a focus on under-represented students. SEMAA's purpose is to enhance the success and motivate greater numbers of students to pursue careers in science, math and related fields.

Leading a dedication ceremony at the college was the University of the District of Columbia President, Dr. Julius F. Nimmons; Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Beverly Anderson; NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin; NASA Office of Equal Opportunity Programs Associate Administrator George E. Reese; and NASA Glenn Research Center Director Donald J. Campbell.

"Through the SEMAA program, bridges are being built that will lead these students into the future," said Glenn Center Director Donald Campbell. "The Aeronautics Education Laboratory was the result of Administrator Goldin's vision and ability to energize NASA employees to stretch themselves and make things happen to benefit our national and international community."

UDC's program will feature an Aeronautics Education Laboratory (AEL). AEL is a leap in classroom technology, a state-of-the-art, electronically enhanced computerized classroom that puts cutting-edge technology in the hands of students in grades 9-12. At nine unique workstations, SEMAA students will explore satellite global positioning, remote sensing, amateur radio and aircraft design, and collect weather information in preparation for flight. In addition, students will use the Internet to make reservations at their destination and conduct airfoil experiments utilizing a specially designed wind tunnel. The experience culminates in a virtual flight using a cockpit simulator or head mounted display.

"The AEL is a wonderful addition to our pre-college program," said UDC President, Dr. Julius F. Nimmons.

A $200,000 grant was presented to UDC from NASA for the establishment of the SEMAA program. The funding is provided by the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D. C.

A vision of former Congressman Louis Stokes (D-OH), SEMAA was established in 1993 by Glenn and Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, OH, to foster understanding and enthusiasm in school-age children for science, math and technology fields. Since 1993, SEMAA has grown from a single site location to a multiple site organization reaching thousands of children in grades K-12 and their families. SEMAA has been replicated at Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta, GA; Sinclair Community College in Dayton, OH; Wayne County Community College, Detroit, MI; and York College, Jamaica, NY. Future sites are planned for the public school districts in Chicago, IL; St. Louis, MO; Baltimore, MD and Greenville, NC.

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