Wed 31 Mar 2010
Source: Press Release
MARCH 30, 2010
SECOND ANNUAL EDUCATION LAUNCH AT SPACEPORT AMERICA
LAS CRUCES – As part of New Mexico Space Grant Consortium’s mission to promote space programs and education to New Mexico students and educators, the second annual Education Launch will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 1 from Spaceport America. Along with carrying experiments designed and created by New Mexico students into space, the SL-4 launch vehicle will also be dedicated to the memory of a Farmington science and technology teacher who died of breast cancer in 2005.
New Mexico Space Grant Consortium Director Dr. Patricia Hynes said, “The promise of a new commercial space industry has created an increased interest in technology and science programs in New Mexico classrooms. The Education Launch gives our students the ability to launch their experiments into space, which is something that inspires visionary educators like Debbie Prell.”
Debbie Prell was a physics teacher at Farmington High School when she became involved with the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium’s Education Launch program. She worked with her students to build high-powered model rockets and electronic payloads for many years. She later taught physics at San Juan College in Farmington and continued to work with the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium to offer scholarships to her students, and worked on weekend science programs for middle- and high-school students. Debbie died of breast cancer in 2005, and her family, friends and students established the Deborah Ann Prell Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Endowment to continue her work.
“The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium is proud to have had Debbie Prell as a partner, and we are continuing her work through her endowment,” said Dr. Patricia Hynes. “Working with UP Aerospace, which is providing the SL-4 launch vehicle for this launch, we are dedicating this launch to Debbie’s memory with a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness painted on the rocket.” In addition, many of the launch participants will wear special pink shirts that read, “Rocket Scientists are Tough Enough to Wear Pink.”
The Education Launch is open to the public by reservation via coach transportation for $20 per person. Registrants can go online to: www.spacegrant.nmsu.edu to reserve their space and make payment. No private vehicles are allowed to the launch site.
The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium is a member of the congressionally funded National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program that is administered by NASA and sponsored by New Mexico State University. The program promotes and inspires lifelong learning in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics as it pertains to space-related activities. The consortium supports a wide range of projects and scholarship opportunities, including the Student Launch Program. New Mexico students build multi-sensor electronic experiments that use the environment of sub-orbital space to further their hands-on scientific and engineering experience.
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For additional information, visit www.spacegrant.nmsu.edu or contact Aaron Perez, Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 575-646-6414