Press Release

Challenger Center: Embrace Earth Day – Help Scientists Raise Awareness

By SpaceRef Editor
April 21, 2008
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Challenger Center: Embrace Earth Day – Help Scientists Raise Awareness
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Challenger Center and Richard Garriott Ask Students to Investigate our Dynamic Earth

Alexandria, VA – In October 2008, Challenger Center for Space Science Education’s Founding Chairman, Dr. June Scobee Rodgers will watch as her former student, Richard Garriott spends a week in space engaging students in educational activities. In collaboration with TERC and the Association of Space Explorers, Richard, an avid photographer will take pictures of Earth including our network of 50 Challenger Learning Centers. Richard will compare his photos of Earth with his father’s, Dr. Owen Garriott, a former astronaut who spent time on Skylab in the 1970’s, to see how the earth has changed in the span of 35 years. Ultimately, in this unique p roject students make predictions about how Earth will look when the next generation of astronauts flies into space.

Students are asked to select special targets to support their own Earth investigations as part of Garriott’s focus on planetary stewardship. The purpose of this activity is to help future scientists monitor how well we take care of our planet. Students are asked to choose areas that may best illustrate future efforts to slow global warming or minimize human impact on Earth’s resources and ecosystems. The examples of targets that could be selected are: a city to monitor its growth, glaciers that might retreat with global warming, a pristine forest that might be logged or protected, or a reservoir to see if it provides adequate water.

To submit your target to the Challenger Learning Center nearest you, please visit http://www.challenger.org . Each Challenger Learning Center will submit one target for Richard to photograph. Latitude, longitude, description, mission objective and student name are required for each submission. As lighting conditions for this mission will favor the northern hemisphere, only targets north of the equator will be considered. Actual photos will depend on time available, lighting conditions, clouds, etc. Entries must be received prior to May 15, 2008. Upon Richard’s return, students wi ll have access to all the images allowing teachers to do follow-up activities utilizing a wealth of updated image resources.

Challenger Center for Space Science Education was founded in 1986 by the families of the astronauts of the space shuttle Challenger 51-L mission. It is dedicated to the educational spirit of that mission and impacts over 300,000 students and 25,000 teachers each year. Challenger Learning Center programs at 50 centers around the world continue the crew’s mission of engaging teachers and students in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. To locate a Challenger Learning Center near you, visit http://www.challenger.org/ .

For program information, please contact:

Shannon Rush, Development and Communications Associate
Challenger Center for Space Science Education, Alexandria, VA
703-683-9740;
srush@challenger.org

To request an interview with Richard Garriott, please contact:

Stacey Tearne, Space Adventures
703-894-2192,
stearne@spaceadventures.com

SpaceRef staff editor.