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Sonja Alexander

Headquarters, Washington, DC March 12, 2001


(Phone: 202/358-1761)

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-