George Washington Carver Elem. Students to Participate in Space Program - Southern Maryland Headline News

George Washington Carver Elem. Students to Participate in Space Program

LEXINGTON PARK, Md. (May 26, 2009)—On May 1, more than 500 students from around the world joined together by signing Student Signatures in Space® posters to celebrate Space Day 2009! On Friday, May 29, at 9:00 a.m., the students of George Washington Carver Elementary School will have the opportunity to participate in this effort when representatives from Lockheed Martin visit their school.

Student Signatures in Space (S3) provides elementary and middle school students the opportunity to send their digitized signatures into space and feel a personal involvement with the crew and the mission. Jointly sponsored by NASA and Lockheed Martin, S3 is one program of the award-winning Space Day educational initiative.

"Our goal with Student Signatures in Space is to spark kids' interest in technical studies by giving them a personal connection to the space program," said Barbara Reinike, Space Day program manager for Lockheed Martin. "Classes usually follow their Signatures mission together from launch to landing, so it really piques the students' interest in the whole process. Counterpart lesson plans that incorporate math and science activities help teachers take the learning experience to the next level."

To this end, Lockheed Martin provides several space-themed lesson plans as well as classroom and school-wide activity ideas, which are featured on the Space Day web site at

The Space Shuttle mission designated to carry this year's signatures has tentatively been identified as STS-129, a flight to the International Space Station that is scheduled for November.

After the signatures return from space, the poster will be returned to George Washington Carver E.S. for permanent display along with a flight certificate and picture of the crew that carried the signatures into space.

Since the program began in 1997, over 5.5 million students have participated in Student Signatures in Space. There is no cost to schools to participate. However, because of space constraints on each mission, participation is limited to approximately 500 schools each year.

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