ATLANTA, Oct. 8, 2008 -- The Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) Foundation launched 61 Georgia teachers into weightlessness yesterday as part of the Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery Program. The goal: to inspire and prepare the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers - critical areas where the U.S. has fallen behind globally.
To support U.S. competitiveness in math, science and engineering for the future, the Northrop Grumman Foundation launched its Weightless Flights of Discovery program in 2006. By focusing the Weightless Flights program on teachers rather than students, the program has achieved maximum "reach" for the lessons of its microgravity "classroom," delivering inspiration to an estimated 25,000 elementary, middle school and high school students in its first two years. With 240 teachers participating in this year's program, an additional 6,000 students will receive the message that "science is cool" from their teachers.
In a recent survey conducted among teachers who participated in 2006 and 2007, results revealed that the program has had an encouraging impact among students. Over 91 percent of teachers reported a notable increase in their students' overall interest in science, and almost 78 percent reported a rise in the number of students who have expressed a desire to pursue a career in a science or math related field - both key goals of the Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery program.
The Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery is an innovative hands-on training program that gives teachers an 'out-of-this-world' experience as a way to help them inspire their students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Area teachers prepared for the zero-gravity flights this summer by attending workshops and designing experiments to execute while in zero-gravity in order to test Newton's Laws of Motion. Following the flights, the teachers will bring their in-flight experiences, enthusiasm, and videotaped experiments into the classroom, where they will be integrated into lesson plans.
For more information, visit: http://www.northropgrumman.com/community/weightless.html .
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
Editor's Note: Video, hi-res photos and teacher interviews available upon request.
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