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Flying A Flag

Pennant design entries are due April 10, 2007. Credit: NASA
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 21, 2007
For some scientists and engineers, designing something to fly in space might be the pinnacle of a career. On the STS-118 shuttle mission, NASA is giving that opportunity to a 6- to 12-year-old student.

NASA, AOL's kids service KOL, and Mad Science are teaming up for the NASA Space Pennant Design Challenge. Through the challenge, students will design pennants based on either the STS-118 mission or the Vision for Space Exploration. The Vision for Space Exploration is the program that will see humans return to the moon and then travel to Mars and beyond. The winning design will fly into space on the STS-118 shuttle mission, targeted for launch in summer 2007.

The STS-118 flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour will be the first spaceflight of an Educator Astronaut, mission specialist Barbara Morgan. STS-118 is also an important step in the ongoing assembly of the International Space Station.

It's not enough to just come up with a creative design. Students must research their topic, and use what they learn to design their pennant. Then, they must write essays explaining their designs. The essays must tell how the pennants reflect the research about STS-118 or the Vision for Space Exploration.

Through the process of designing a pennant, students will get the opportunity to learn about the requirements of spaceflight and the science surrounding NASA's programs, while gaining a lasting understanding about the importance of space exploration.

Entries may be submitted beginning March 15, 2007, either online or through the mail. The deadline for entries is April 10. Ten semifinalists will be chosen in each of three age groups -- 6-8, 9-10 and 11-12. Judges from NASA, KOL and Mad Science will then select two finalists from each group. On May 3, those six finalists will be announced, and one overall winner will be selected through online voting.

The challenge's grand prize will include a trip to the STS-118 launch for the winner and a parent or guardian. The winner's design will also fly on the STS-118 shuttle mission.

Each of the six finalists will receive an autographed picture of the shuttle crew, and an online NASA game will use their pennant design. A NASA Space Day, featuring a speaker from the agency, will be held at their schools. The schools will also receive NASA education resources, including seeds that have been flown in space on STS-118. All students who submit entries will receive certificates of participation.

Through the NASA Space Pennant Design Challenge, NASA continues its tradition of investing in the nation's education program. It is directly tied to the agency's major education goal of attracting and retaining students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. To compete effectively for the minds, imaginations and career ambitions of America's young people, NASA is focused on engaging and retaining students in education efforts that encourage their pursuit of disciplines critical to NASA's future engineering, scientific and technical missions

Related Links
STS-118
NASA Space Pennant Design Challenge
News About Space Exploration Programs
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NASA And Houston Technology Center Sign Space Act Agreement
Houston TX (SPX) Mar 20, 2007
NASA and Houston Technology Center (HTC) have announced the signing of a Space Act Agreement from the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The agreement provides the framework for expanding a multi-year partnership between the two organizations.







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