CLEVELAND, Sept. 9, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- For more than 40 distinguished elementary and secondary school teachers from the Cleveland area and six Midwestern states who participated in Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Weightless Flights of Discovery program this weekend, the concept of "floating" new ideas past their students will never be the same.
The teachers, who represented approximately 35 schools in 11 states, completed the second-to-last stop in a five-city national tour of hands-on science workshops and "zero-gravity" aircraft flights similar to what astronauts use to train for space flight. The program is designed to provide teachers with tools and experiences they can use to inspire students to pursue technical and scientific careers related to space exploration.
The science workshop, held Aug. 26 at NASA's Glenn Research Center, taught teachers the principles of microgravity, and how math, science and engineering principles apply to weightless space environments. During the flights, which were videotaped, the teachers conducted experiments to demonstrate for their students how the behavior of everyday objects changes dramatically in a microgravity environment.
"Northrop Grumman's Weightless Flights of Discovery have given these exemplary educators an environment to demonstrate and prove math and science principles that once were theoretical or abstract," said Art Stephenson, vice president of space exploration systems for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "When they take their experiences and results of their weightless experiments back into their classrooms, we're confident that they will energize their students and inspire them to consider careers in science, engineering or other technical fields."
Northrop Grumman is the major sponsor for the Weightless Flights of Discovery program. Zero Gravity (ZERO-G(r)) Corporation, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., developed and is conducting this unique professional development program for teachers. In all, the program will allow approximately 240 teachers to participate in 12 flights.
In addition to underwriting the costs of the workshops and weightless flights, Northrop Grumman is also providing a $250 grant to each of the U.S. teachers involved in the program. The grants are being made by the Northrop Grumman Foundation.
The Northrop Grumman's Weightless Flights of Discovery program will wrap up its three-month tour in September in the Washington, D.C. area. Teacher workshops are scheduled for Sept. 23, with corresponding zero-gravity flights planned for Sept. 30.
Florida Space Research Institute, a research organization for the state of Florida, is also providing national funding support for the Northrop Grumman Weightless Flights of Discovery program. AOL, an industry-leading educational resource for teachers and students, serves as the program's official online, interactive Web site. Space enthusiasts can visit http://homeworkhelp.aol.com/zero-g to review videos of teachers in zero gravity action, photo galleries and fast facts about zero gravity.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With approximately 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
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