NORWALK, Conn., Sept. 29, 2009 -- The Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) Foundation sent 30 educators representing various school districts throughout Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island into weightlessness today as part of the Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery Program, which aims to inspire and prepare the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers -- critical areas where the U.S. has fallen behind globally.
The program, in its fourth year, provides educators with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prepare for and participate in micro- and zero-gravity flights during which they test Newton's Laws of Motion with a variety of planned experiments. The experience and experiment results are captured through photos and videos that the teachers will then take into their classrooms to share with their students in order to demonstrate how exciting and cool careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can be.
The United States is experiencing a shortage of college graduates in the STEM disciplines, a negative trend 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, and key influencers in the lives of students during these crucial years.
The Northrop Grumman Foundation supports diverse and sustainable programs for students and teachers. These programs create innovative education experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Editor's Note: Video, hi-res photos and teacher interviews available upon request.
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