CLEVELAND - For the 20th year in a row, hundreds of elementary, middle and high school students will travel to NASA's Glenn Research Center on Saturday, Nov. 3 to test their skills in a number of engineering and scientific activities.
Students will be welcomed by NASA astronaut and retired Air Force Colonel Gregory H. Johnson. A graduate of Park Hills High School in Fairborn, Ohio, Johnson also serves as Associate Director of External Programs at Glenn. Guidelines, instructions and a summary of the day's activities will then be given by organizers of the event, most of whom are NASA scientists and engineers.
The event will take place in the Glenn hangar from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and conclude with an awards ceremony for the teams that represent schools, clubs and scouting troops from various locations throughout Ohio.
Competitive activities for student teams called Pilots - those in grades one through six - include a Parachute Challenge and Stomp Rockets. Student teams in grades seven through 12, called Commanders, will compete in challenges that include building a spacecraft lander, rover and a science station.
New activities this year include Don't Lose Your Marbles, which will test the students' ability to build an apparatus topped with marbles to a maximum height possible in a vacuum; and a Remote Detection Challenge, where students will use remote sensing to determine the shape of test samples.
Additionally, the students will work with volunteers from Canstruction (registered trademark), a unique food charity, to build a structure out of canned foods that will resemble the Mars Curiosity Rover. Afterward, the finished structure will be photographed and the canned food items will be donated to the Cleveland Foodbank.
This year's event is sponsored by Glenn's Exploration Flight and Development Project Office and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Northern Ohio Section, and supported by Glenn's Educational Programs Office.
Media representatives interested in covering the activities should call the Media Relations Office at 216-433-2901 by 4:30 p.m. Nov. 2, in order to be cleared through security.
A list of communities with schools and organizations participating follows:
Avon: Avon Cub Scout Pack 333, Avon Boy Scouts
Bay Village: Westerly School, Bay Village High School
Berea: Ford Middle School
Brooklyn: Girl Scout Troop 4013
Bryan: St. Patrick Catholic School
Chagrin Falls: Kenston Girl Scouts
Cleveland: Birchwood School, Menlo Park Commanders, Rhodes High School
Columbus: Young Astronauts Club
Galion: Northmor Elementary
Lorain: Lorain County Civil Air Patrol
North Olmsted: Forest Primary School
Parma Heights: Parma Heights Christian Academy
Richmond Heights: Richmond Heights Secondary School
Rocky River: Magnificat High School
Shaker Heights: University School
Sheffield: Sheffield Middle School
Sullivan: Black River High School
University Heights: Gesu Elementary
Westerville: Edison Academy