Morgan resident Jimmy Jones recently had the opportunity of a lifetime to experience the weightlessness of space. While it wasn’t a trip in the space shuttle, the program operated by the Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) Foundation offers teachers the opportunity to feel at least one part of space flight. The program sent 29 educators representing various school districts throughout Utah, Arizona, Colorado and Oklahoma into weightlessness as a part of the 2010 Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery program.
The program, in its fifth year, provides educators with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prepare for and participate in micro- and zero-gravity flights during which they test Newton’s Laws of Motion with a variety of experiments their students helped create. Math and science teachers, including one married couple, took part in the flight, with the goal of inspiring and preparing the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers – critical areas where the U.S. has fallen behind globally. In all, 177 teachers from across the country participated in the 2010 program, with 53,000 students expected to be reached this year. The message: science is cool and fun, and that a career in the sciences is both rewarding and achievable.
“The Weightless Flights of Discovery program was launched with the goal of inspiring teachers, who would in turn inspire their students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “This program has succeeded beyond our expectations and is now very much in demand.”
Jones took a copy of the Morgan County News onto the flight with him creating one of the more unique Where in the World is the Morgan County News moments. Jones is a fourth grade teacher at Sunset Elementary.