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Kimberly W. Land
(757) 864-9885
For Release:   Feb. 21, 2002

RELEASE: 02-013

NASA "Why?" Files:
TV series receives second Emmy after first season

NASA was recognized with another Emmy award for its children’s educational television programming. After one season of production, the “NASA ‘Why?’ Files” instructional video/web series received its second Emmy for “The Case of the Challenging Flight”in the category of best “Children’s Program/Educational” on Feb. 2, 2002.

The regional Emmy was presented by the Nashville/Midsouth Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences during ceremonies at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Nashville, Tenn.

“The program has such a tremendous success because we have a great cast, crew, content, and wonderful support from all our Langley researchers,” says Shannon Ricles, the show’s coordinating producer. “With that combination and enthusiasm, we can only continue to produce high-quality instructional programs and have a winning series.”

“NASA is about research and development. Therefore, the programs we offer to the educational community are also grounded in research and contribute to a program’s design,” says Dr. Shelley Canright, NASA’s Education Division Technology Program Manager. “The convergence of television and web coupled with NASA content and researchers offers a wealth of untapped potential for educators and students.”

The “NASA ‘Why?’ Files” series introduces students in grades three through five to NASA; integrates mathematics, science, and technology through the use of problem-based learning, scientific inquiry and the scientific method; and seeks to motivate students to become critical thinkers and active problem solvers.

Each program includes hands-on classroom and home activities, virtual field trips, research experts and Dr. “D,” the tree-house detectives’ next-door neighbor and mentor. The tree-house detectives are six ethnically diverse, inquisitive schoolchildren who investigate and solve a variety of everyday problems.

Other honors for the series include a regional Emmy award for Best Children’s Series for the 2000-2001 season, Awards for Publication Excellence, the International Film Festival Award and the Golden Web awards for the “NASA ‘Why?’ Files” web site.

The “NASA ‘Why?’ Files” show has reached over 3.7 million students worldwide and about 165,000 registered educators and parents. The “NASA ‘Why?’ Files” can be seen on PBS-member stations across the United States and NASA TV, down-linked via Ku- and C-band satellite, and accessed via the Internet at:

Major funding for the production of “NASA ‘Why?’ Files” is provided by NASA’s Aerospace Vehicle Systems Technology Office. Program partners include the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation; Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Va.; Sea World, Tampa, Fla.; Christopher Newport University; and Hampton City Public Schools.

The “NASA ‘Why?’ Files” is one of a suite of award-winning television and web series produced by NASA Langley’s Office of Education. Other series include NASA CONNECT (grades 5-8) and NASA’s Destination Tomorrow (grades 9-adult). Visit the NASA Education Home Page, at, for further details on these programs.

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