Ann Marie Trotta
Headquarters, Washington     

Sep. 21, 2011
RELEASE : 11-316
NASA Selects Teachers For Student's Reduced Gravity Experiments
WASHINGTON -- Teachers from 14 NASA Explorer Schools (NES) have been selected for the 2011 School Recognition Award for their contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

A team of NASA personnel reviewed applications and recognized the schools for demonstrating exemplary classroom practices and finding innovative uses of NES resources to engage a broad school population. These schools were selected from more than 1300 schools that have registered participants in the NASA Explorer Schools project.

Three teachers from each school will travel to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston next year to conduct experiments in microgravity aboard the agency's reduced gravity aircraft. The experiments will examine how fluids with different viscosities behave in microgravity; the acceleration and inertia of objects; and how the absence of gravity affects mass and weight.

"This represents another innovative NASA project for teachers and students to engage in actual scientific investigations in a microgravity environment, similar to experiments conducted on the International Space Station," said Shelley Canright, program manager for primary and secondary education at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "It successfully demonstrates and enhances participants' academic knowledge in STEM."

The schools selected are:

Amos Hiatt Middle School, Des Moines, Iowa
Charles T. Kranz Intermediate School, El Monte, Calif.
East Hartford-Glastonbury Magnet School, East Hartford, Conn.
Ellen Ochoa Learning Center, Cudahy, Calif.
Ferndale Middle School, High Point, N.C.
Forest Lake Elementary Technology Magnet School, Columbia, S.C.
Franke Park Elementary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Jamestown High School, Jamestown, Pa.
Johnston Middle School, Houston
Key Peninsula Middle School, Lakebay, Wash.
Lakewood High School, Lakewood, Calif.
Mack Benn Jr. Elementary School, Suffolk, Va.
St. Mary's Visitation School, Elm Grove, Wisc.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School, Glendale, Calif.

The NASA Explorer Schools Project is the classroom-based gateway for students in grades 4 through 12; focused on stimulating STEM education using agency content and themes. For more information about the Explorer Schools Project, visit:


To watch a six-minute video that provides project information and shows previous winners aboard the reduced gravity aircraft, visit:


For more information about NASA's education programs, visit:



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