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Release 00-005

For release: February 11, 2000

Barbara Kakiris/Lori Rachul
Media Relations Office
(216) 433-2513/(216) 433-8806

Nancy Nolan-Jones
African American Museum
(216) 791-1700

African Solar Village Outreach Project Enlightens Community

Imagine residences in rural African villages without utilities—running water, heat and electricity—being sustained by the latest developments in power technology. Such an integration of the traditional and futuristic may seem farfetched, but the African Solar Village Outreach Project, a collaboration between NASA Glenn Research Center and Cleveland’s African American Museum, will demonstrate otherwise with innovative exhibits and educational opportunities that demonstrate this accomplishment to the public.

The collaboration, which showcases a past commitment to the development and installation of electrical power systems in rural areas worldwide, will begin its initial phase at a ceremony on Saturday, February 12, 2000,from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the African American Museum, located at 1765 Crawford Road, Cleveland, OH.

"This collaboration reminds us of our historical tradition of spreading technological advancement at home and abroad, attempting to benefit the quality of life on Earth. The African American Museum and its Solar Village Outreach Project acknowledge our commitment to that vision," said Dr. Willie Mackey, Glenn electrical engineer "on loan" to the museum for this project.

The African Solar Village Outreach Project, initiated and implemented by Glenn as part of its CARET- Consortium for Advancing Renewable Energy Technology collaboration, plans to establish creative avenues for teaching science and mathematics, specifically Solar Energy and Solar Astronomy, to museum visitors. The Project’s main attraction, an African Solar Village exhibit to be completed in August 2000, and its other tours and hands-on activities are designed to offer an understanding of how science and culture interrelate in unique ways.

"I’m very grateful for the collaboration with NASA Glenn—I think together we encourage children to explore the world of science and to understand it from a cultural perspective," said Nancy Nolan-Jones, executive director, African American Museum.

Highlights of the opening ceremony will include the feature of a photographic exhibit depicting a solar electrification project and the museum’s dedication of a plaque to Glenn recognizing the installation of over 83 remote stand-alone power systems worldwide. Video footage of a NASA Glenn-CARET sponsored Senegalese water-pumping project performed by Central State University (an Historically Black College and University in Wilberforce, OH) students will also be shown.

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