Sonja Alexander Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1761

)

March 12, 2001

Jerry Berg Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL (Phone: 256/544-6540) RELEASE: 01-39 NASA'S FIRST VIRTUAL LIBRARY HONORED WITH EDUCATION AWARD Continuing a tradition of firsts, NASA will be honored for a unique, interactive link that connects educators and students to aeronautics and space resources. Created more than 13 years ago, Spacelink was the Agency's first virtual library accessible to the public. NASA will receive the National Aeronautic Association Frank G. Brewer Trophy for aerospace education. It's the first time in 21 years that the award will be given to a team instead of to an individual. The Brewer Trophy will be presented March 15 to NASA during the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education in Minneapolis. The Brewer Trophy recognizes Spacelink's contributions to the educational community for pioneering quick and easy electronic access to NASA information and educational materials. Spacelink also provides educators and students with one of the most exhaustive and comprehensive search engines within NASA, indexing more than 300,000 web pages. In February 1988, before the World Wide Web existed, Spacelink became NASA's first electronic bulletin board designed for the public. The Spacelink virtual library houses NASA-developed educator guides, education briefs, lithographs and other materials cross-referenced with NASA aeronautics and aerospace activities. Spacelink was developed as a direct way to provide education resources to the public. Since its creation, the site has attracted more than 7.5 million visitors who have accessed nearly 193 million items of information. "The flow of information goes far beyond the number of web

site contacts," said Don Koranda, president of the Arlington, VA, based National Aeronautic Association. "Teachers who tap the information in turn pass it on to unknown numbers of students in their classes." "We're honored that the National Aeronautic Association has selected the NASA Spacelink team to receive this year's Brewer Trophy," said Frank C. Owens, Education Division Director, Office of Human Resources and Education, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. "Spacelink is a key element in NASA's education program and we appreciate this prestigious recognition of its entire community." The NASA Spacelink team includes Jeff Ehmen of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center's Education Programs Department, Huntsville, AL; Dr. Shelley Canright, educational technology program manager in the Education Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC; and Jeff Cobb, Charmein Johnson, Kathy Forsythe, Heather Deiss and Alan Cunningham, all of Computer Sciences Corp. in Huntsville, AL. Frank G. Brewer established the annual award in 1943 in honor of his two sons and to commemorate his lifelong interest in aviation, youth, and education. Brewer was a successful Alabama businessman who believed aviation and space exploration would have a dramatic impact on our world. Since the award's inception, it has been administered by the National Aeronautic Association. Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated and a committee selects the recipient based on significant contributions of enduring value to aerospace education in the United States. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, operates Spacelink for NASA's Education Division, Headquarters, Washington, DC. NASA Spacelink can be found on the Internet at: http://spacelink.nasa.gov -end-