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News Release 00-003

For Release: February 3, 2000

Sally V. Harrington
Media/Community Relations Office
(216) 433-2037

Patricia Martin
Cleveland Municipal School System
(216) 574-8143

Grant Establishing Lab Links Learning with Imagination

Fueled by their enthusiasm and guided by their imaginations, students from East Technical High School will have the opportunity to learn first hand about today’s world of robotics in a new LEGOTM Robotics Lab.

The new lab, established through a grant by the NASA Glenn Research Center, will combine a favorite construction tool of children and advanced computer technology. The learn-by-doing classroom will enable students to design a robot, allowing them to build and program their own intelligent inventions.

"Educating our children is critical to the future of NASA," said John Hairston, director of Glenn’s External Programs. "Our partnership with East Tech has directly involved students and teachers in learning opportunities to encourage students to understand science, math and engineering in order for them to explore their world."

"We are delighted that our young men and women at East Technical High School will have this great opportunity," said Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett. "Working alongside a NASA Glenn engineer and their teacher in the LEGOTM lab will greatly enhance students’ knowledge-base of robotics. We thank NASA Glenn for assisting us in Educating Cleveland’s Children."

The educational grant covers the purchase of LEGO robotics kits and computer software to teach the students about robotic design. In addition, Glenn will support the lab with an engineer who will assist the teacher and students.

"The state-of-the-art LEGO Robotics Lab will give students an opportunity to further develop their knowledge of technology, problem solving, logical thinking, engineering, and computer programming," said Jo Ann Charleston, chief of Glenn’s Educational Programs Office.

Through the grant Glenn also continues to encourage the students’ interest in science and engineering with support for their participation in the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotic competition program. Glenn personnel will be available to advise the team in the building of their robot. This marks the seventh year that Glenn has collaborated with East Tech in this competition.

"We look forward to having a FIRST team compete at this prestigious event where our students compete against others from around the nation," said Principal Boris Morrison. "Our science program at East Technical High School will be enriched and our engineering students will definitely benefit. Our students are up to the challenge."

The LEGO Robotics Lab is the latest educational endeavor Glenn has initiated during the 20-year partnership with East Tech. The partnership has established numerous successful educational initiatives, including East Tech’s Pre-Engineering Thematic Program and participation by students and teachers in Glenn’s Summer Intern Program.

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