Press Release

Northrop Grumman Foundation Now Accepting Teacher Applications for 2009 Weightless Flights of Discovery Program

By SpaceRef Editor
April 13, 2009
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Northrop Grumman Foundation Now Accepting Teacher Applications for 2009 Weightless Flights of Discovery Program
Northrop Grumman Foundation Now Accepting Teacher Applications for 2009 Weightless Flights of Discov

The Northrop Grumman Corporation Foundation is accepting teacher applications for the 2009 Weightless Flights of Discovery program, an initiative that places teachers on micro- and zero-gravity flights to test Newton’s Laws of Motion and energize students in the formative middle-school years.

Middle-school math and science teachers in public schools are welcome to apply for the program at http://www.northropgrumman.com/teachers. The Foundation has selected four locations for this year’s flights: Albuquerque, N.M. (Sept. 22); Detroit (Sept. 24); Norwalk, Conn. (Sept. 29); and Washington, D.C. (Oct. 2). A maximum of 30 teachers in each of the cities will participate.

“Nearly 1,000 teachers have participated in the Weightless Flights of Discovery program since its inception, and, in turn, thousands of kids have benefited from the experience,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “This year, we’re looking forward to hosting 120 more teachers around the nation.”

Northrop Grumman is partnering with the Zero Gravity Corporation to offer the Weightless Flights of Discovery program, one of several initiatives the Northrop Grumman Foundation sponsors in support of promoting education and student interest in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Selected teachers will participate in a full-day orientation program several weeks before their flights. Teachers then will work with their students to develop experiments to be conducted in environments simulating lunar gravity, Martian gravity and weightlessness. Following the two-to-three-hour flight, each teacher will share his or her experiences back in the classroom.

The program targets middle-school math and science teachers primarily because the United States is experiencing a shortage of college graduates in these disciplines, a development 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, key influencers in the lives of students during these crucial years.

“Placing teachers in a weightless environment to help them energize their students is a fun and interesting thing to do,” said Evers-Manly. “Our foundation’s mission is to develop unique, sustainable and national-level programs to inspire interest in STEM subjects, and the Weightless Flights of Discovery initiative follows through on that commitment.”

To apply for a flight, or to learn more about the Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery, please visit http://www.northropgrumman.com/teachers.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

SpaceRef staff editor.