LOS ANGELES, May 5, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) Foundation is accepting teacher applications for the 2008 Weightless Flights of Discovery program, an initiative that places teachers on micro- and zero-gravity flights to test Newton's Laws of Motion and energize students in the formative middle-school years.
Middle-school math and science teachers are welcome to apply for the program at www.northropgrumman.com/teachers . The Foundation has selected four locations for this year's flights: San Jose, California (Sept. 18); Florida's Space Coast (Sept. 30); Atlanta (Oct. 7); and the Chicago area (Oct. 21). A maximum of 60 teachers in each of the cities will participate. The Foundation chose these locations because of the relatively close connections Northrop Grumman has with these areas, in terms of employee concentration and community involvement.
"The Weightless Flights of Discovery program has enjoyed enthusiastic participation in cities across the nation, and we are very excited about bringing it to four new locations that are of particular importance to Northrop Grumman," said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation.
For the third consecutive year, Northrop Grumman is partnering with Zero-G Corporation to offer the Weightless Flights of Discovery program, one of several initiatives the Northrop Grumman Foundation sponsors in support of promoting education and student interest in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Selected teachers will participate in a full-day orientation program several weeks before their flights. Teachers then will work with their students to develop experiments to be conducted in environments simulating lunar gravity, Martian gravity and weightlessness. Following the two-to-three-hour flight, each teacher will share his or her experiences back in the classroom.
The program targets middle-school math and science teachers primarily because the United States is experiencing a shortage of college graduates in these disciplines, a development that bodes ill for the nation's industries that depend on talented scientists and mathematicians. Because studies have indicated most children make the decision to pursue math and science education and careers during middle-school, Northrop Grumman developed the Weightless Flights of Discovery to engage teachers, key influencers in the lives of students during these crucial years.
"It's a privilege to offer teachers a chance to participate in what may be a once-in-a-lifetime event -- it's certainly a life-changing event -- where they can test Newton's Laws of Motion while having a great time," said Evers-Manly. "This is a very different way to thank these teachers for all they do, and to help them bring some unique lessons into their classrooms."
To learn more about the Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery, please visit www.northropgrumman.com/teachers .
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 122,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
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