LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17, 2010 -- The Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) Foundation is accepting teacher applications for the 2010 Weightless Flights of Discovery program, a unique initiative that places teachers on micro-gravity flights to test Newton's Laws of Motion and energize students in the formative middle-school years.
Middle-school math and science teachers in public schools are welcome to apply for the program at www.northropgrumman.com/goweightless . The Foundation has selected six new locations for this year's flights: Cincinnati; Honolulu; McAllen, Texas; Memphis, Tenn.; Gulfport, Miss.; and Salt Lake City. A maximum of 30 teachers in each of the cities will participate. The specific flight dates for each location can also be found on the website.
"The Weightless Flights of Discovery program was launched with the goal of inspiring teachers, who would in turn inspire their students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education," said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. "This program has succeeded beyond our expectations and is now very much in demand. We're delighted that 180 more teachers will join the 1,120 teachers nationwide who have participated to date."
Northrop Grumman is partnering with the Zero Gravity Corporation to offer the Weightless Flights of Discovery program, one of several initiatives the Northrop Grumman Foundation sponsors to promote education and student interest in STEM fields.
Selected teachers will participate in a full-day workshop several weeks before their flights. Teachers then will work with their students to develop experiments to be conducted in environments that create 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.
"Our foundation's mission is to develop unique, sustainable and national-level programs to inspire interest in STEM subjects, and the Weightless Flights of Discovery initiative follows through on that commitment," said Evers-Manly.
"Our nation's leaders, including President Obama through his 'Educate to Innovate' initiative, recognize the need to strengthen STEM education in the United States. Our Weightless Flights of Discovery program, now in its fifth year, is very much aligned with this important national goal," she said.
To learn more about the Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery, please visit www.northropgrumman.com/goweightless .
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Gus Gulmert Northrop Grumman Corporation (703) 875-8450 Cell: (443) 850-0438 firstname.lastname@example.org