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Educational Opportunities: Celebrating Space Shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 Mission

Scheduled for launch no earlier than June 28, 2007, Space Shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission will be the 22nd shuttle flight to the International Space Station. It will continue space station construction by delivering a third starboard truss segment. It's also the first flight of an Educator Astronaut, Mission Specialist Barbara Morgan.

Many of you may remember that Barbara Morgan was the alternate for Teacher in Space Christa McAuliffe. Since that time, Barbara has become a member of the astronaut corps and the first of a new astronaut category: Educator Astronauts. An Educator Astronaut is a fully qualified astronaut who brings expertise in K-12 education. With their education background, Educator Astronauts will help lead NASA in the development of new ways to connect space exploration with the classroom, and to inspire the next generation of explorers, while ensuring a successful mission.

NASA is preparing a number of educational opportunities to celebrate this flight:

  • Downlinks from the Shuttle: Proposals are due March 9 for the opportunity to host a downlink from the flight. The Announcement of Opportunity is at this link

  • Engineering Design Challenge: A NASA Educational Design Challenge focusing on growing plants in space will be announced soon. Students will have the opportunity to design plant growth chambers, and apply to receive packets of basil seeds that will be flown on STS-118. The seeds are expected to be available several months after the flight. For info on other Educational Design Challenges, see http://edc.nasa.gov/

  • Pennant Design Challenge: NASA, America On-Line, and Mad Science will collaborate to offer a challenge to design pennants to celebrate the flight. Registration will be on-line at http://www.KOLExpeditions.com from March 15 - April 12. The target audience is children ages 6 to 12. The lucky first place winner will be invited to attend the launch with one parent and the winning pennant will fly on-board STS-118.

  • Fitness Challenge: In collaboration with the President's Council on Fitness, NASA will present a Fitness Challenge.

  • Educator Training: Throughout the spring, opportunities to be trained on STS-118 educational activities will be announced, including some regional workshops. Solar System Ambassadors, Solar System Educators, and Museum Alliance partners will have the opportunity to participate through our usual on-line / telecon trainings.

While we plan to communicate with you regularly about STS-118, you may want to sign up for the NASA Education e-mail list, NASA Express, at http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/mailinglist/index.html

Also, be sure to bookmark http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/STS-118_index.html as the gateway to other educational opportunities associated with STS--118.

The STS-118 mission page is at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts118