NASA News - NASA.gov Wins Two 2012 Webby Awards

WASHINGTON -- NASA's website, www.nasa.gov, has won awards in two
categories as the best government site in the 16th Annual Webby
Awards, the leading international honor for the world's best websites.

The site received its fourth consecutive People's Voice Award, its
fifth overall, in a popular vote and for the first time won the
judges' Webby Award in the category.

"We are honored to once again be recognized for our online
communications efforts," said David Weaver, associate administrator
for communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "On a daily
basis, our extraordinary web team provides a clear and accessible
view into the agency's missions and milestones, to the benefit of
American taxpayers and millions who follow us around the world."

Since winning the 2011 People's Voice award, the site had its busiest
day ever with the launch of the final space shuttle mission in July
2011. More than 560,000 people watched the launch on NASA's webcast.
The site had 18 million visits during the two-week mission, during
which it distributed 1.2 billion megabytes of data. Previously, that
had equaled a year's worth of information sent to the public.

NASA also offers a variety of mobile apps and content for social media
sites. In February, the agency released Space Race Blastoff, its
first social media game, through its Facebook page.

"We're always looking for new ways to convey the excitement of
exploration and inspire the public the way we're inspired here," said
Internet Services Manager Brian Dunbar in the Office of
Communications at NASA Headquarters. "We're thrilled to again be
recognized by the Webby Awards and look forward to new opportunities
to engage with our audiences and tell NASA's story this year."

Like last year, the agency had two sites nominated for Webbys.
PlanetQuest, about the search for Earth-like planets, was nominated
for Best Science Site.

NASA has had a web presence since the early 1990s, but the popularity
of NASA.gov skyrocketed after a 2003 redesign made it more usable and
understandable for the general public. Since then, there have been
more than 1.5 billion visits to the site, and its
customer-satisfaction ratings are among the highest in government and
comparable to popular commercial sites.

The Office of Communications and the Office of the Chief Information
Officer, both at NASA Headquarters, manage the agency's website.
PlanetQuest is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the
Science Mission Directorate.

Presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences,
the Webby Award recognizes excellence in technology and creativity.
The academy created the awards in 1996 to help drive the creative,
technical, and professional progress of the Internet and evolving
forms of interactive media. While members of the International
Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences select the Webby award winners,
the online community determines the winners of the People's Voice Awards.

To find all the ways you can connect and collaborate with NASA, visit:



NASA Explorer Schools Symposium Showcases Student Research

WASHINGTON -- Students from across the nation will gather at NASA's
Johnson Space Center in Houston May 2-5 for the annual NASA Explorer
Schools Symposium. These future leaders in science, technology,
education and math, or STEM, have completed research investigations
and will present their findings to a team of NASA scientists and
engineers, student peers and educators.

The competitively selected group consists of 60 students in grades
four through 12 and 30 educators from 21 states. The group's research
projects were designed to inspire interest in STEM disciplines and
encourage pursuit of technical careers.

The students completed an original investigation based on existing
NASA missions or research programs. Participants presented their work
virtually to experts at NASA centers earlier this year in regional
symposia using the agency's Digital Learning Network.

"NASA's mission of research and discovery is a powerful context for
learning," said Greg "Box" Johnson, astronaut and associate director
of external programs at the agency's Glenn Research Center in
Cleveland. "Each year students amaze us with presentations that in
many ways mirror the work of our scientists and engineers. This
symposium offers students practical experience giving presentations
in a professional setting while providing a front-row seat to NASA's
careers, research and discoveries."

In addition to presenting their work at the national symposium,
participants also will learn more about NASA's research activities
and exploration missions. Students will tour a variety of operational
facilities at Johnson, including the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, a large
swimming pool that plays a key role in astronaut training.

The NASA Explorer Schools project offers multiple pathways for
participation and requires no application process. Teacher
participants must be U.S. citizens and have a valid education
certification as an administrator or educator in a nationally
accredited education institution within the United States or its
territories, or Department of Defense or State Department schools.

The program is a key part of NASA's Office of Education goals to help
develop the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers
through STEM studies.

For more information about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit:


For more information about NASA's education programs, visit:



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