Sonja Alexander Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1761) John Bluck Ames Research Center, Moffett Field

, CA (Phone: 650/604-5026) RELEASE: 99-5

January 21, 1999

NASA SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS WILL TALK TO STUDENTS ON THE INTERNET DURING BLACK HISTORY MONTH Students from around the world will get the opportunity to 'chat' with NASA's African-American scientists, engineers and others over the Internet during February, Black History Month. During these chats, students with access to computers can type their questions and receive answers from the experts. The chat sessions begin on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 2:30 p.m. EST with Dr. Aprille Ericsson-Jackson, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. During the chats, Ericsson-Jackson and the other African-American professionals will describe their contributions to the space program. "I feel obligated to help spur the interest of minorities and females in the math, science and engineering disciplines," said EricssonJackson. She received the "Women in Science and Engineering" award as the best female engineer in the federal government in 1998. Representing diverse careers, scheduled participants include a NASA nutritionist, an aerospace engineer and an operations specialist from mission control at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX. "NASA's African-Americans serve as role models for students," said Oran Cox, who organized the chat series at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. "These chats will enable students to meet mentors via the Internet in a very personal way." First-come, first-served pre-registration via the Internet is required in order for students to participate. Others can observe the conversations without registering. The Black History Month chats are sponsored by NASA's Quest Project based at Ames. There will be at least eight web chats during February. The Black History Month chat sessions can be accessed at URL: Chat schedule - All times EST Feb. 2, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dr. Aprille Ericsson-Jackson, Aerospace Engineer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD Feb. 9, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Janis Davis-Street, Nutritionist, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX Feb 11, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tony Bruins, System Engineer/Integrator, Mission Operations Directorate, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX Feb. 17, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jennifer Murray, Biomedical Engineer, NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL Feb. 18, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Janice Everett, Environmental Protection Specialist, NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL Feb. 24, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Ruth Simmons, President, Smith College, Northampton, MA Feb. 25, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Oran Cox, QuestChat Project Manager, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Date/time to be determined for Dionne Jackson, Materials Science Engineer, NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL Please check Quest website for late additions: -end-