Barbara R. Morgan, NASA educator astronaut and STS-118 Endeavor mission specialist, was honored Wednesday, Aug. 15, for her 20-year commitment to keeping the spirit of education as an integral part of the NASA space program.
Bill Gutsch, president and chief executive officer of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, and June Scobee Rodgers, founding chairman, presented Morgan with the Challenger Center's President George H.W. Bush Award. Jim Stofan, NASA deputy assistant administrator for education programs, and Linus Guillory, education specialist, accepted the award on behalf of Morgan, who is currently aboard the International Space Station. Morgan will personally accept the award once she has returned to Earth.
"With this award, we commemorate her historic flight, honor her dedication to the teaching profession and acknowledge her commitment to the mission of the Challenger Center," said Gutsch.
The award was first given to President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush in 1995. The award was then named after former President Bush and is the Challenger Center's highest honor. Only those who display exceptional leadership and who contribute significantly to the center's mission to inspire students to learn and explore receive this honor.
Morgan joined the Astronaut Corps in 1998 as the first educator astronaut. Educator astronauts are teachers and permanent members of the astronaut corps who have been selected by NASA to train to become fully qualified astronauts. Educator astronauts bring to NASA a teacher's perspective, knowledge and skills. Morgan is one of four educator astronauts and has been a long-time member of the Challenger Center Council of Advisors. Through STS-118, she is contributing to NASA's mission of inspiring the next generation of explorers.
For more information on NASA Education, visit: http://www.education.nasa.gov/
For more information on the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, visit: http://www.challenger.org/