Fall Creek Intermediate students will have a special reason to follow the 120th Space Shuttle flight set to launch on October 23. They joined more than 500 other schools around the world when they signed Student Signatures in Space® posters on May 4, Space Day 2007.
Student Signatures in Space (S3) provides elementary and middle school students the opportunity to send their digitized signatures into space and feel a personal involvement with the crew and the mission. Jointly sponsored by NASA and Lockheed Martin, S3 is one program of the award-winning Space Day educational initiative.
Student Signatures in Space is a great way to interest kids in technical studies,” said Barbara Reinike, Space Day program manager for Lockheed Martin. “The signatures project provides students a personal connection to the space program. Teachers can then capitalize on their students’ interest and enthusiasm through follow-up space-related lesson plans that incorporate math and science activities.”
To this end, Lockheed Martin has partnered with Scholastic, Inc., to develop several new space-themed lesson plans, which are featured on the Space Day web site at www.spaceday.org.
The Space Shuttle mission to carry this year’s signatures will be STS-120. The vehicle for this mission will be Space Shuttle Discovery. Among other things, this mission will take an Italian-built U.S. multi-port module for the Space Station and will pick up Flight Engineer Clayton Anderson on the Space Station and return him to Earth. The flight will also carry Anderson ’s replacement, Daniel Tani, to the Station.
After the signatures return from space, the poster will be returned for permanent display to Fall Creek Intermediate along with a flight certificate and picture of the crew that carried the signatures into space.
Since the program began in 1997, more than 4 million students have participated in Student Signatures in Space. There is no cost to schools to participate. However, because of space constraints on each mission, participation is limited to approximately 500 schools each year.
Lockheed Martin is the founding sponsor of Space Day. The mission of Space Day is to use space-related activities to inspire and prepare youth for careers in math, science, engineering, and technology. Throughout the year, millions of students, teachers, parents and space enthusiasts participate in Space Day educational programs and celebrations across North America .
For more info on the Student Signatures in Space program, please contact April Tensen at (540) 384-7809. For more info about Space Day, please contact Barbara Reinike at 301-897-6601.