Space Foundation Press Releases

Apply Now: Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award Recognizes Educators Who Use Technology to Inspire Students

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Apply Now: Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award Recognizes Educators Who Use Technology to Inspire Students COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 9, 2011) — Educators who have demonstrated a commitment to inspiring students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) may apply now to receive the 2012 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award.

Given annually by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Space Foundation, the award recognizes outstanding contributions to technology education by K-12 educators or district-level education personnel. The Space Foundation will present the award, which is named after Mercury Astronaut Alan Shepard, on April 16 at the Opening Ceremony of the Space Foundation’s 28th National Space Symposium at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. Award information and application instructions are available at

Submissions for the 2012 award must be mailed and postmarked no later than January 16, 2012. The winner will be announced in early March 2012.

About the Award
Alan Shepard, one of the nation’s original seven Mercury astronauts, was the first American to fly in space, one of only 12 humans who have walked on the moon and a former AMF board member. The award named after him recognizes excellence, quality and innovation in the development and application of technology in the classroom or to the professional development of teachers.

The 2011 recipient was James E. Richmond, superintendent of Charles County Public Schools in Maryland. As the superintendent of a district with nearly 27,000 K-12 students, Richmond launched multiple programs to help his students excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), helping to develop a future workforce of scientists and engineers.

About the 28th National Space Symposium
The 28th National Space Symposium, the premier gathering of the global space community, will be held April 16-19, 2012, at The Broadmoor Hotel, and will offer workshops, forums, panels and presentations covering all aspects of space, including programs targeted specifically at educators and students.

National Space Symposium education activities include tours of the exhibit center and “Audience with an Astronaut” sessions for selected students and a full-day workshop for Space Foundation Teacher Liaisons, a group of nationally recognized educators who are passionate about space science.

About the Space Foundation
The foremost advocate for all sectors of the global space industry, the Space Foundation is developing the next generation of space professionals – and building the overall technological strength of the nation – through programs that stimulate students’ interest and skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). A non-profit organization founded in 1983, the Space Foundation supports its mission “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity,” through space awareness programs, including Space Certification and the Space Technology Hall of Fame®;industry events, including the National Space Symposium; research and analysis products, including The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activities; government affairs activities; and programs for teachers and students. Visit, follow the Space Foundation on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and subscribe to Space Watch.

About the Astronauts Memorial Foundation
Founded in the wake of the Challenger accident in 1986, AMF honors and memorializes 24 astronauts who sacrificed their lives for the nation and the space program while on a U.S. government mission or in training. AMF is a private, not-for-profit organization approved by NASA to build and maintain two major facilities at the John F. Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex: The Space Mirror Memorial and The Center for Space Education. Through the Center for Space Education, AMF partners with NASA to provide space-related technology training to educators and individuals throughout the nation, to foster understanding of space exploration, to improve education through technology and to improve the quality of the space industry workforce. For more information, visit

About NASA
NASA is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation’s civilian space program. Operational since 1958, NASA’s mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research. It has led U.S. space exploration including the Mercury and Gemini space programs, the Apollo missions to the Moon, the Space Shuttle, U.S. involvement in the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and robotic interplanetary and distant space missions. NASA is also responsible for long-term civilian and military aerospace research and research focused on better understanding Earth, the solar systems and the universe beyond. For more information, go to

Pictured: James E. Richmond, superintendent of Charles County Public Schools in Maryland and 2011 recipient of the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award, delivering his acceptance speech at the 27th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs