Terri Sindelar Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

(Phone: 202/453-8400)

May 14, 1992

Mike Simmons Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. (Phone: 205/544-0034) RELEASE: 92-66 NASA CO-SPONSORS NATIONAL SCIENCE OLYMPIAD NASA is joining Auburn University in co-sponsoring the 1992 National Science Olympiad to be held at the Auburn, Ala., campus May 15-16. More than 1,500 of the nation's top junior and senior high school students will compete in the 33-event Olympiad, the largest science event in the United States. The Olympiad is held each year to improve science science and math on the same level as that generated by varsity sports. The "intelletes" will compete for Olympic-style medals and scholarships. Discussing the importance of education, President Bush said, "Because student achievement, especially in science and mathematics, is so important to our nation's future, we must never allow America to settle for less than the gold medal in world academic competition." NASA is participating in this year's Olympiad, the first to be held in the South, as part of its ongoing support of education and in recognition of International Space Year 1992. The space agency will offer participating students and teachers a pre-event tour of the Marshall Space Flight Center, will display a number of space-related exhibits at the 2-day event, and will conduct a number of educational workshops for the more than 500 attending teachers.

NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin said, "We applaud the hundreds of thousands of students and teachers across America who are furthering man's quest for knowledge through exploration and discovery. Like the Science Olympiad, NASA strives to foster students' natural curiosity and joy of discovery by challenging minds with new frontiers. In so doing, NASA is committed to helping America become first in math and science by the year 2000, to encouraging science literacy for all Americans and to safeguarding our nation's competitiveness." - more - 2 The Olympiad, to be held on May 16, will consist of events representing three broad areas of science education -- concepts and knowledge, processing and thinking skills, and applications and technology. Applying these skills, "intelletes" will design and build clocks, musical instruments, bridges, flying devices, and vehicles propelled by mousetraps. In other events, teams and individuals will solve problems using their knowledge in biology, geology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, aerodynamics, computers and technology. NASA's officials participating in the 2-day Science Olympiad will be Frank Owens, Director of Education, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.; Jack Lee, Director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville; and J. A. Bethay, Associate Director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville. A pre-event tour of the Marshall Space Flight Center on May 14 will include visits to the Space Station Freedom mockup, manufacturing facility and Environmental Control and Life Support Systems test area; the Spacelab Mission Operations Control Center; the Payload Crew Training Center; the Neutral Buoyancy Simulator; and the Project LASER Discovery Lab.

Marshall will also display a number of exhibits at the event featuring an array of NASA space vehicles and programs and will provide educational materials to over 500 participating teachers through the Project LASER Mobile Teacher Resource Center. Additionally, NASA educators will present a number of workshops for attending teachers, including a lunar sample education workshop in which teachers will be certified to borrow samples of lunar soil and rocks for classroom use at no charge. Also, Marshall and the U.S. Space Camp, with assistance from the Global Change Institute of Aspen, Colo., will present an Olympiad special event that will involve students in verifying NASA's observations of the Earth from space. - end -