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Florida Educator to Receive Shepard Award at 24th National Space Symposium

03/18/2008

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Mar. 19, 2008) -- Today Kevin L. Simmons, of Jacksonville, Fla., was named the 2008 recipient of the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award. This award, given by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF), NASA, and the Space Foundation, will be presented Monday, April 7 during the Opening Ceremony of the 24th National Space Symposium. The symposium, the premier annual gathering of the global space industry, will be held April 7-10, at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.

“We are pleased to join the AMF and NASA in honoring such an enthusiastic and innovative educator with the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award,” said Iain Probert, vice president, education, Space Foundation. “We are especially proud that for the second year in a row a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison was selected for remarkable accomplishments in inspiring student participation in space research and technology.”

“We are proud of this progressive educator and look forward to honoring Kevin Simmons with the Alan Shepard award for his excellence in technology education in and out of the classroom,” said Stephen Feldman, Ph.D., president, AMF.

Simmons was chosen to receive the award for his creation of the TEKNA - THEOS, Inc. (TTI) program. TTI educates students about science and engineering careers through the design, construction, and flight of a novel spaceflight bioreactor. The program has expanded to include student participation in competitions, conducting “Zero G” research projects, and legislative and public outreach activities.

As winner of the award, Simmons will receive a commemorative trophy engraved with his name and a monetary award of $500. In addition, his name will be placed on a plaque honoring past recipients, which is housed in the Center for Space Education at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The AMF, NASA, and the Space Foundation present the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award annually for outstanding contributions made by K-12 educators or district level personnel to technology education. The award is named after Alan Shepard, one of the nation’s original seven Mercury astronauts, the first American to fly in space, one of only 12 humans who have walked on the moon, and a former AMF board member. It recognizes excellence, quality, and innovation in the development and application of technology in the classroom or to the professional development of teachers.

Recipients demonstrate exemplary use of technology to foster lifelong learners or to make the learning process easier. More information about the award is available at www.astronautsmemorialfoundation.org.

More than 7,500 registrants, guests, speakers, exhibitors, and media from across the United States and many foreign countries are expected to attend the 24th National Space Symposium.  Participants, who represent both the history and future of this $220 billion industry, include senior executive leadership from NASA, NOAA, and other civil space and government agencies; the commercial space and satellite broadcasting industry; the Department of Defense and military space commands; space entrepreneurs; universities and academia; and senior representatives from the global space industry.

Highlights of the 24th National Space Symposium include an extensive exhibit center representing more than 140 organizations and companies co-sponsored by Lockheed Martin; a spectacular Opening Ceremony, co-sponsored by United Space Alliance; Opening Night Fireworks and Late-night Reception, co-sponsored by Raytheon; the Corporate Partnership Dinner, co-sponsored by Northrop Grumman; the presentation of the Space Foundation’s highest honor, the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, at a luncheon co-sponsored by Boeing; Space Technology Hall of Fame Reception, co-sponsored by Axiom Worldwide; and the Space Technology Hall of Fame Dinner, co-sponsored by Space Florida.

Additional co-sponsors of the symposium are AMERICOM Government Services, Analytical Graphics, Inc., ATK, BAE Systems, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Cisco Systems, Computer Sciences Corporation, CSP Associates, Harris Corporation, Hitachi Consulting, Honeywell, Infinite Links, Intelsat General, ITT, Perot Systems Government Services, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, SEAKR Engineering, Inc., Stellar Solutions, and United Launch Alliance. Media partners for the 24th National Space Symposium are Aviation Week, Space News, and Via Satellite. Frontier Airlines is the official airline of the conference.

Online registration and more information, including an updated program agenda, confirmed speaker list, and exhibitor list, are available at  www.NationalSpaceSymposium.org.

About the Space Foundation
Founded in 1983 and celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Space Foundation is an international nonprofit organization advancing space-related endeavors to inspire, enable, and propel humanity.  A leader in space awareness activities, major industry events, and educational enterprises that bring space into the classroom, the Space Foundation is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo.  It conducts research and analysis and government affairs activities from its Washington, D.C., office, and has field representatives in Houston and Cape Canaveral, Fla.  Along with partnering organizations, the Space Foundation also conducts Strategic Space and Defense 2008, scheduled 6-8 October in Omaha, Neb.  For more information, visit www.SpaceFoundation.org.

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