Debbie V. Nguyen
Johnson Space Center, Houston
April 26, 2006
Teachers Honor Einstein's Work Aboard NASA's "Weightless Wonder"
Six teams of high-school physics teachers will test experiments developed by their students aboard NASA's C-9 aircraft, the "Weightless Wonder," early next month. The experiments will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's discoveries.
NASA, the World Year of Physics, the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society selected six proposals from high-school students and teachers nationwide for experiments to be flown on the aircraft. The aircraft will give flyers the feel of space as it conducts a series of flying maneuvers over the Gulf of Mexico, creating multiple periods of reduced gravity.
The teachers will arrive at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston on May 4. The teams are scheduled to fly experiments the week of May 8. The selected teams and experiments are:
- Beaumont High School, Cleveland Heights, Ohio: Free-Standing Liquid Bridges
- Circle High School, Towanda, Kan.: Mathematics of Microgravity
- Columbus High School, Columbus, Ga.: Space Communication and Spacecraft Tumbling
- Glenbrook North High School, Northbrook, Ill.: Electrostatics of Granular Materials and Surface Tension - The Art of Science
- Greendale High School, Greendale, Wis.: Magnificent Magnets
- Roosevelt High School, Seattle: Robot Pointer
"Through their experiments and teachers, students can discover and understand another world - the world of physics. After all, it's physics that enables the plane to create such a unique learning environment," said Donn Sickorez, University Affairs Officer of the Reduced Gravity Program at Johnson.
Aside from this academic experience, undergraduate students also get the chance to successfully propose, design, fabricate, fly and evaluate a reduced-gravity experiment through NASA's Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program. The overall experience includes scientific research, hands-on experimental design, test operations and educational and public outreach activities.
For more information on the Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program, visit: http://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov
For information about NASA's education programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/education
For information on the World Year of Physics and the selected experiments, visit: http://www.physics2005.org/
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