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Kimberly W. Land
Planners Collaborative, Inc.
(757) 864-9885

RELEASE NO. 01-078

For Release:   July 18, 2001

NASA “Why?” Files web site wins excellence award

NASA Langley Research Center’s "Why?" Files web site is the winner of a 2001 publication excellence grand award. Why you ask?

Awards for Publication Excellence (APEX) judges answer: NASA’s "Why?" Files web site incorporates "lively action graphics." "Small, easily readable copy chunks are perfect for the Web." "Well organized, designed and edited site." "Superb example of a site designed for a specific audience." "Takes full advantage of Flash – everything is visual…every click an exploration and adventure." Amid more than 5,100 entries in the Thirteenth Annual Awards competition, this is high praise.

APEX Grand Awards honor outstanding work in 11 categories, each exhibiting excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence.

The NASA "Why?" Files web site is based on an annual series of four 60-minute televised broadcast programs designed to enhance the teaching and integration of mathematics, science, and technology in grades 3-5. Each broadcast is accompanied by a resource-rich educator guide. The series, produced by NASA Langley’s Office of Education, uses problem-based learning to introduce students to scientific inquiry and the scientific method.

"Why?" Files’ story lines are developed by educators in accordance with national standards and are based on the exploits of six ethnically diverse, inquisitive students. These "tree house detectives" meet before and after school to help solve mysteries using NASA programs, projects and facilities under the mentorship of NASA researchers.

"Receiving the APEX award is a testimony to the quality of the work being done at NASA Langley," says Jeff Seaton, who leads the web team. "It means a lot to have an external organization tell us we are creating an excellent product." Seaton is an electrical engineer in Langley’s Aerospace Systems, Concepts and Analysis Competency.

The web site is produced by NASA Langley’s Learning Technologies Project in cooperation with Christopher Newport University and is funded by NASA’s LEARNER’s Cooperative Agreement. Web team members include Seaton; Heidi Boyette, Virginia Beach City Schools; Cory Gilbert and Bernie Freeman, both from Christopher Newport University; John Evans, Langley’s Information Systems Branch; Larry Merrill, Langley’s Library and Media Services Branch; and Steve Campbell, NCI Information Systems.

Entering its second season in the fall of 2001, the program currently has over 140,000 registered educators representing over 3.3 million students. Programs are available via satellite, public broadcasting stations, NASA CORE, and NASA’s learning technologies channel. For more information visit the NASA "Why?" Files at or the web site for NASA Langley’s Office of Education at

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