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Kimberly W. Land
(Phone 757/864-9885, 757/344-8611 mobile)

RELEASE: 03-006

January 22, 2003

JANUARY 23 - 25, 2003

NASA Langley Research Center will show teachers how to use its materials in the classroom at the seventh annual Children’s Engineering Convention (CEC) Jan. 23-25 at the Williamsburg Woodlands and Cascades Conference Center, Williamsburg, Va. Sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education, the convention is designed to help teachers introduce elementary school students to inventions, innovation, engineering and the world of technology.

Through NASA’s Center for Distance Learning, a collaborative effort of NASA Langley’s Office of Education and Christopher Newport University (CNU), NASA researchers, faculty and educators will conduct workshops and demonstrations that focus on staff development and ways to encourage children to create, use and manipulate technology. Demonstrations of technology activities for the classroom plus how to correlate these activities with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) will be showcased.

Nationally known educators and television celebrities Dr. Edwin Sobey and Professor Henry Petroski are keynote speakers for the convention. Sobey is the president of the Northwest Invention Center, Redmond, Washington. His resume includes extensive television, radio, and film experience that include executive producer and host of Idea Factory; host of "Science Made Simple" for 1, 2, Kangaroo; and co-host and scientific consultant to Blow the Roof Off for Ohio Educational Broadcast Network. Sobey has published over a dozen children’s books, including Wacky Water Fun with Science, Just Plane Smart, Inventing Toys: Kids Having Fun While Learning Science, and Wrapper Rockets and Trombone Straws.

Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic professor of civil engineering and professor of history at Duke University and author of various engineering books, including Design Paradigms; Engineers of Dreams; Invention by Design; Remaking the World; and The Book on the Bookshelf.

Petroski lectures regularly to both technical and general audiences in the U.S. and abroad and has been interviewed frequently on radio and television. In addition to appearances on National Public Radio and public television, he has been a guest on many radio talk shows and television shows including the History Channel, CNN's "Talk Back Live" and NBC's "Today Show." For more information about the Children’s Engineering Convention, visit:

For more information about NASA’s Center for Distance Learning, visit

For more information about Christopher Newport University, visit


Date: January 24, 2003, 8:30-10:00 AM
Speaker: Susan Holland, NASA Langley’s Office of Education
Topic: Using NASA Educational Materials in the Classroom

Date: January 24, 2003, 10:15-11:45 AM
Speaker: Dr. Richard Byles, Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton, Va.
Topic: Space Colony – A Science Center/School Collaboration

Date: January 24, 2003, 1:30-3:00 PM
Speaker: Diane Fisher, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
Topic: How to Design and Build a Model Spacecraft from Found Materials

Date: January 24, 2003, 1:30-3:00 PM
Speaker: Shannon Ricles, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va.
Topic: Using Problem-Based Learning to Introduce Children to the World of Technology

Date: January 25, 2003, 8:30-10:00 AM
Speaker: Ron Shaneyfelt, NASA Langley’s Office of Education
Topic: Networking Science Activities for Elementary Students

Date: January 25, 2003, 8:30-10:00 AM
Speaker: Dr. Randall Canton, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va.
Topic: Engineering Team Design Challenges for Young People

Date: January 25, 2003, 10:15-11:45 AM
Speaker: Scott Striepe, NASA Langley’s Mars Planetary Team
Topic: Mars Lander Design for Kids



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