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Gretchen Cook-Anderson
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-0836)

Dawn Kappel
Adler Planetarium, Chicago
(Phone: 312/322-0524)

May 20, 2003
RELEASE : 03-175
Chicago Students Blast Off During Space Station Webcast
Students from dozens of Chicago-area public and private schools will participate in a webcast Thursday, May 22, with current International Space Station crewmembers.

The event will "connect" the students with Expedition Seven astronaut Ed Lu and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko from 9:55 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. CDT, via NASA downlink, and will be hosted by Chicago's Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum.

The webcast will offer eighth graders from economically disadvantaged Chicago schools the opportunity to see science in action and to be inspired by the International Space Station crew. At the Adler Planetarium, 1300 South Lake Shore Drive, 40 students will participate in the webcast, along with educators, Adler trustees and local radio personalities.

"This webcast, in partnership with Adler Planetarium, will enable students from underserved communities to interact live with our astronauts," said Debbie Brown Biggs, Team Lead for NASA's Teaching from Space Program, which enables the downlinks. "This opportunity allows NASA to reach out to the community to help inspire the next generation of explorers by bringing outer space into the nation's classrooms," she said.

The webcast is part of Astronomy Connections, a professional development program for educators created by the Adler Planetarium. The program illustrates ways in which Internet-based technologies, museum resources and astronomy-themed instruction programs can be used by educators to help their students better understand astronomy.

The Space Station webcast is one in a series of downlinks to educational organizations across the country, and an integral component of NASA's Teaching from Space Program, managed by the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The Teaching from Space Program facilitates educational opportunities using the unique environment of human space flight. The program builds partnerships with education communities to create unique learning opportunities through the use of NASA and educational technology.

For more information on the Internet about the Adler Planetarium, visit:

For more information about NASA's Teaching from Space Program, visit:

For information about other NASA Education programs, visit:


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