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Space Foundation Brings Astronaut Jim Reilly and an Indoor Rocket Demonstration to Two Colorado Springs Schools

04/23/2009

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Apr. 23, 2009) -- The Space Foundation’s education outreach is taking its student PreK-2nd grade astronaut program to two Colorado schools on April 27, giving boys and girls an opportunity to meet former NASA astronaut and Colorado Springs resident Jim Reilly and to experience space science in action.

The astronaut program will be presented at Preschool Partners, 9565 Otero Ave., from 10 to 11 a.m., and at The Classical Academy Central Campus, 1655 Springcrest Rd., from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. In addition to meeting astronaut Reilly, the children will see small rockets launched indoors and Space Foundation education staff will share information on age-appropriate, family-orientated space activities that can be accomplished at home.

"This is a marvelous opportunity to excite and engage young people with the wonders of space and science,” said Iain Probert, Space Foundation vice president of education. “The Space Foundation is happy to partner with institutions such as Preschool Partners and The Classical Academy, to propel inquiring young minds to a lifetime hobby, passion, or career in a space-technology-related field.”

The Space Foundation’s education programs support teachers and PreK-12 students using standards-based curriculum that integrates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) into all content areas. Space Foundation instructors present teachers with age-appropriate, hands-on activities they can immediately use with their students.

“We are grateful to be able to partner with the Space Foundation on this program,” said Jim Kretchman, co-founder of Preschool Partners. “Young children are sponges and it’s important to stimulate their interest in STEM curriculum at an early age.”

“At the Classical Academy we are always looking for ways to present science first-hand to our students,” said Mark Hyatt, president, The Classical Academy. “We believe this unique exposure is a tremendous opportunity to build life-long learners.”

This fall, the Space Foundation will be piloting a two-day graduate-level professional development program for PreK - 2nd grade teachers and administrators, centered around space and science education for early learners. This initial program will be the prelude to a five-day graduate-level Space Discovery Institute, planned to begin during summer 2010. PreK - 2nd grade teachers and administrators interested in taking part in this pilot project, containing curriculum and projects that are instantly transferable to the classroom, should contact the Space Foundation Education team at 719-576-8000.

About James F. Reilly II
Jim Reilly has a master of science degree in geosciences and a doctorate in geosciences, both from the University of Texas-Dallas. He was selected for NASA’s astronaut program in December 1994. During his time at NASA, he worked on systems development, materials and vehicle engineering, and human factors projects for both the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle. Reilly flew on STS-89 in 1998, STS-104 in 2001 and STS-117 in 2007. He logged over 853 hours in space, including five spacewalks totaling 31 hours and 10 minutes. He has more than 2,000 hours of high-performance flight time in various NASA aircraft. Reilly retired from NASA in May 2008. In October 2008, he joined TAEUS International Corporation, located in Colorado Springs, as Vice President for Product Development.

About the Space Foundation
Founded in 1983, 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, Texas, and Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Space Foundation, along with partnering organizations, sponsors three major events each year, the National Space Symposium, held in April in Colorado Springs, Space Business Forum: New York, held this year on June 4, 2009, in New York, N.Y., and an event with the United States Strategic Command in the fall in Omaha, Neb. For more information, visit www.SpaceFoundation.org. Follow us on Twitter: SpaceFoundation.
 

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