* Program designed to show students that science is cool * Teachers participating in today's microgravity flight hail from Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin
DETROIT, Sept. 24, 2009 -- The Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) Foundation launched 29 teachers into weightlessness today 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.
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. For example, one team of teachers used a slinky, a stopwatch and ruler to understand the effect of gravity on wave action and calculate wavelength.
Math and science teachers from Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin took part in the program, with the purpose of taking their experience back into their classrooms to energize their students in math and science. The flight path took the teachers over Lake Ontario and the Detroit area.
The United States is experiencing a shortage of college graduates in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (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.
CONTACT: Jennifer Herrera Rebecca Rakitin M. Silver Associates 954-765-3636 Jennifer@msilver-pr.com Rebecca@msilver-pr.com Tom Henson Northrop Grumman Corporation (310) 201-3458 firstname.lastname@example.org