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Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office

November 01, 2007
NASA Glenn Hosts Young Astronauts for Annual Challenge
Cleveland - For the 15th straight year, NASA's Glenn Research Center will host over 300 students from 24 local schools and youth organizations for Young Astronaut Day, a Saturday filled with hands-on activities and a visit with a NASA astronaut.

Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 3, in the Developmental Engineering Building Auditorium, Glenn Deputy Director Ray Lugo will welcome the students.

Astronaut Mario Runco will serve as guest speaker and start the students on their way toward a day filled with excitement in a number of engineering and scientific challenges.

Guidelines, instructions and a summary of the day's activities will then be given by organizers of the event, most of whom are NASA scientists and engineers. Pilots (6th grade and younger) will meet in Glenn's Developmental Engineering Building Cafeteria, while Commanders (7th grade and older) will convene at the same time in the Main Cafeteria for the competition portion of the event.

The students, in grades K-12, have fun competing in events designed to help stimulate an interest in aeronautics, space science and engineering. Challenges this year include Space Spud, where competing student teams use the same materials to design different protective suits for the Space Spud from an onslaught of small meteorites from an impactor; and the InSpace Repair Challenge, where each team experiences how difficult it is to perform simple tasks when working in space.

Astronaut Runco began his flight career as an astronaut candidate in 1987 and is a veteran of three space shuttle flights, having logged over 551 hours in space, including a 4.5-hour spacewalk.

Runco was part of the STS-54 crew that demonstrated how everyday toys behave in space, in what has since become a popular children's education video, "Physics of Toys." He subsequently made several appearances on the children's television show Sesame Street.

This year's event is sponsored by Glenn and the Northern Ohio section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Media representatives interested in covering the activities should call Lori Rachul at 216-433-8806 or 216-509-1071 in order to be cleared through security.

A list of communities with schools and organizations participating follows:

Ashland Elementary School

Bay Village
Bay Village Middle School

Ford Middle School
St. Adelbert School

Girl Scout Troop 1578
South Suburban Montessori School

St. Patrick's School

Berkshire Junior and Senior High School
Shore Explorers

Birchwood School
John Glenn Elementary School
Martin Luther King Junior High

Young Astronauts

Lorain County
Civil Air Patrol

Superior Middle School

North Canton
Brownie Troop 516

Young Explorers

Parma Heights Christian Academy
Parma High School
Warrior Astronauts

Rocky River
Magnificat High School

Sheffield Middle School

Shaker Heights
University School

Edison Academy


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