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Collaborations To Bring Space Excitement To Next Generation

September 4, 2010

In a series of innovative collaborations this summer — including a public service announcement with recording artist Mary J. Blige and a ‘physics of football’ segment at recent National Football League youth camps — NASA is getting the word out that studying science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is a great way to open the door to a bright future.

The latest effort in this series will debut Labor Day Weekend at events in Florida and California. Using cutting-edge, holographic technology to display NASA imagery and other multimedia products, astronaut Leland Melvin and hip-hop recording artist and actor MOS Def will share their enthusiasm for science and exploration with attendees at the I.S.I.S. (Instituting Science in Schools) Science and Cultural Festival at the Chabot Observatory in Oakland, Calif., and the Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS) Family Reunion in Orlando, Florida. Though these two events are occurring about 3,000 miles apart, through the magic of technology, Melvin and MOS Def will appear side by side to share their message.

The patented 3D hologram projection technology was developed by Obscura Digital and is being used in innovative education and outreach campaigns through a contract with NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

“This event will use the amazing power of technology to inspire students; showcase NASA’s compelling missions and scientific discovery; illustrate to students the connection between ‘book’ science, real life, and their futures; and really communicate with these young people in imaginative and innovative ways,” noted astronaut Melvin, who flew aboard the space shuttle in 2008 and again in 2009 and is currently on assignment in the Office of Education at NASA Headquarters.

Melvin, along with other current and former NASA employees, will take part in a panel presentation at the TJMS Family Reunion called “Legends and Trailblazers.” It will take place on Sunday, Sept. 5 at 2:15 p.m. The two holographic presentations are scheduled to take place 10:30-11:00 a.m. and 4:45-5:15 p.m. the same day. Both events will be held in the Sun Ballroom at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando.

You can find more information on NASA’s education programs at http://www.nasa.gov/education.

Image Caption: NASA astronaut Leland Melvin and singer-actor Mos Def. (Credit: NASA)

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