Sally Harrington
NASA Glenn Research Center

December 8, 2011
NASA Glenn Hosts a Winter STEM Challenge for North Central Ohio Students
CLEVELAND -- Students from Ohio schools in Erie, Huron, Seneca and Sandusky counties will participate in a unique learning opportunity involving science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. NASA's Glenn Research Center, in partnership with Kalahari Resorts, will host a Winter STEM Challenge on Dec. 14 and 15 from 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Nia Center at Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, Ohio.

Four hundred fifty eighth grade students and their teachers from 13 school districts will participate in the program.

"The goal of the Winter STEM Challenge is to engage students in the fundamental aspects of science, technology, engineering and math that underpin not only space exploration but also day-to-day life," said Brian Willis, project lead for Glenn's Plum Brook Station education and outreach team.

Astronaut Greg Johnson, Glenn's chief of external programs division, will welcome the students and share his space travel experiences with them. Johnson is a veteran of two space shuttle missions to the International Space Station. He served twice as pilot of space shuttle Endeavour - in 2008 and on that orbiter's final mission in 2011.

Afterward, Glenn researchers and operations engineers, along with specialists in robotics, cryogenic fluids, and propulsion will engage the students in six STEM venues that culminate with teams of students competing in technical challenges to determine their mastery of the subject matter. The venues are related to the engineering principles of microgravity, laser-based space communication systems, mechanical vibrations associated with launch dynamics, propulsion system design, cryogenic fluid management and task-oriented robotics.

NASA supports educational activities like these to encourage more students to pursue STEM studies. The goal is to fuel their interest and potential in these critical areas and create a future employment base for NASA and other technology-dependent organizations in the United States.

For a biography on Johnson, visit:

For information about NASA's Glenn Research Center, visit:

For information about NASA's education programs, visit:


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