Orbiting Space Shuttle Astronauts -- Including Former Teacher -- Call North Carolina Students

WASHINGTON -- Astronauts orbiting 220 miles above Earth will speak
with students in Gibsonville, N.C., on Wednesday, April 14. The call
with the students and space shuttle Commander Alan Poindexter and
Mission Specialists Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson and
Clay Anderson will take place at 1:06 p.m. EDT at Eastern Guilford
High School in Gibsonville.

Eastern Guilford High School is hosting students from Eastern Guilford
Middle School, Gibsonville Elementary, McLeansville Elementary,
Rankin Elementary and Sedalia Elementary for the downlink. The school
also will broadcast the event to the entire Guilford County Schools
district, which serves more than 71,000 students.

The astronauts launched Monday, April 5, aboard space shuttle
Discovery from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During the
13-day mission to the International Space Station, the crew will
deliver science experiments and supplies; take three spacewalks to
switch out a gyroscope on the station's truss, or backbone; install a
spare ammonia storage tank and return a used one; and retrieve a
Japanese experiment from the station's exterior.

Metcalf-Lindenburger is one of three teachers selected to fly as
shuttle mission specialists in the 2004 Educator Astronaut Class. She
operates the shuttle's robotic arm. Without robotics, major
accomplishments like building the station, repairing satellites in
space and exploring other worlds would not be possible.

Students have been preparing for the downlink by conducting NASA
engineering design challenges and implementing agency robotics
resources and activities into K-12 classrooms. A science, technology,
engineering and math, or STEM, club was organized to increase
participation and interest, particularly by female students.

The school's guidance department also is collaborating with local
universities to help students investigate and explore STEM
opportunities beyond graduation. During follow up in-district
workshops in April and May, a NASA Aerospace Education Services
Program specialist will demonstrate how to access and use NASA
resources in K-12 curricula.

Eastern Guilford High School employee Michael Woods, a former
Aerospace Education Services Project specialist at NASA's Goddard
Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and the agency's Langley
Research Center in Hampton, Va., is leading the downlink effort. In
December 2009, NASA awarded Guilford County Schools a two-year grant
of nearly $1 million to help middle and high school teachers develop
science lessons using the space agency's content.

The event is part of a series with educational organizations in the
U.S. and abroad to improve teaching and learning in science,
technology, engineering and mathematics. The in-orbit call is part of
Teaching From Space, a NASA project that uses the unique environment
of human spaceflight to promote learning opportunities and build
partnerships with the kindergarten through 12th grade education

NASA Television will air video of the astronauts during the downlink.
For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information,


For information about NASA and robotics, including messages from
Metcalf-Lindenburger for teachers and students, visit:


For information about NASA's education programs, visit:


For information about the space shuttle and its crew, visit:


Source: NASA

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