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For Release: Feb. 2, 2000
Alabama and Tennessee Students Star in National TV Series
Thirty-four students from Alabama and Tennessee were not yet born when humans first walked on the Moon, fueling national interest in math and science. But this month, a nationwide audience of almost 100,000 educators and five million students will watch these students play their own roles in illustrating how math, science and technology help people reach for the stars.
The students, eighth graders at Talladega County Central High School in Talladega, Ala., and fifth graders at Prescott Central Middle School in Cookeville, Tenn., are starring in a segment of a NASA-produced television program titled "Proportionality: the X-Plane Generation" that will air on 75 PBS member stations.
The 30-minute program -- part of an instructional series called "NASA CONNECT" -- will air Feb. 17. In Alabama, it will air over Alabama Public Television at 12:30 p.m., and over the ETV system in Huntsville city schools at 10:30 a.m. In Tennessee, airtime will be 10 a.m. on WCTE-Cookeville and on WDCN-Nashville.
During the show, students discover how to use a scale model as an engineering tool. The program on proportionality features NASA's X-33 experimental aircraft and was produced by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The Marshall Center manages the X-vehicle program for NASA. NASA's X-33, X-34 and X-37 projects are designed to demonstrate technologies and operations aimed at lowering launch costs from $10,000 per pound to $1,000 per pound.
"We're pleased to be associated with NASA CONNECT as a partner in sharing real science with our young people throughout the nation," said Jim Pruitt, manager of Marshall's Education Programs Department. "It's an excellent way to prepare students to make their dreams become a reality."
The segment starring Talladega students was filmed Dec. 20-21, 1999, while the segment starring Cookeville students was filmed Jan. 5.
"The kids were thrilled," said Wilma Guthrie, the Central High science teacher who led the effort at Talladega. "The idea that our school was asked to participate in a national program was so energizing for the kids and for the teachers."
The episode of NASA CONNECT produced by Marshall focuses on ratios, proportion, scaling, measurement and systematic investigation. It also features NASA researchers and other professionals who describe the scientific concepts, discuss how NASA's X-33 is being tested to make space travel cheaper and more reliable, and show how proportionality and ratios are used to make small-scale versions of spacecraft.
The award-winning NASA CONNECT is designed to enhance the teaching of math, science and technology in grades four through eight. The series, in its third year of production, is produced by the NASA Langley Research Center's Office of Education in Hampton, Va. More than 7,200 schools worldwide subscribe to the series.
Note to Editors / News Directors: Photos of the students being filmed for the NASA CONNECT Program may be viewed or downloaded at:
Interviews, video or prints of photos supporting this release are available to media representatives by contacting Jerry Berg of the Marshall Media Relations Department at (256) 544-0034. For an electronic version of this release, visit Marshall's News Center on the Web at:
More information about NASA CONNECT can be found on the Web at:
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