Santa Cruz, UA, Challenger Center Educators Host Feb. 25 - March 1 Space Program

Lori Stiles
Feb. 20, 2001


EVENT:
Challenger Center Window on the Universe Program, sponsored by Nogales Unified School District #1, Santa Cruz Valley School District #35, Santa Cruz Elementary District #28, the NASA National Challenger Center, the University of Arizona and others (listed below). The event is free and open to the public.

WHEN:
Feb. 25 - March 1

WHERE:
Feb. 25 -26 -- Wade Carpenter Middle Academy, 595 W. Kino Blvd., Nogales
Feb. 27 -- Rio Rico High School/Calabasas Middle School, 1220 Camino Lito Gallindo, Rio Rico
March 1 -- Nogales High School, 1905 N. Apache Blvd., Nogales


Nogales and Santa Cruz County teachers will host a week-long "Challenger Center Window on the Universe Program" for the southern Arizona community Feb. 25 - March 1.

This is the first year of a 3-year program designed to excite people throughout the area about science, mathematics and technology, and how these relate to space exploration, said Paige Valderrama, a teacher at Wade Carpenter Middle Academy in Nogales.

Valderrama, Col. Bob Anderson of Nogales High School, and Oscar Villasenor of Calabasas Middle School in Rio Rico, Ariz., are co-team leaders of the event.

The Window on the Universe Program, sponsored by the National Challenger Center headquartered in Alexandria, Va., "is an initiative that establishes sustainable community-wide programs that will use human space flight and the space sciences ....to engage entire communities on a journey of exploration and education," organizers say.

They will launch the Challenger Windows on the Universe week on Sunday, Feb. 25, with a master teacher workshop at Wade Carpenter Middle Academy in the Nogales Unified School District #1. National Challenger Center education specialists will train 25 area teachers who then will be facilitators for a larger K-12 workshop on Monday, Feb. 26.

The Feb. 26 K-12 educator workshop, also to be held at Wade Carpenter Middle Academy, will draw more than 350 teachers from Santa Cruz Valley and the Tucson area.

Family Science Activity Nights will be held 5:30 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Rio Rico High School/Calabasas Middle School, 1220 Camino Lito Gallindo, Rio Rico, and March 1 at Nogales High School, 1905 N. Apache Blvd., Nogales. These will feature hands-on activities for "kids" of all ages, rocket launches, star gazing, and opportunities to sit in an A-7 cockpit or an F-16 kiddie plane, and to don life support gear to feel what it's like to wear a "g-suit." To cap off the evenings, planetary scientists and NASA researchers will give lively, interactive talks on space exploration in down-to-Earth terms.

NASA scientists, university planetary scientists and science teachers will give presentations about space exploration throughout many community schools during the week.

Sponsors and supporters of the program include:

Nogales Unified School District #1, Santa Cruz Valley School District #35, Santa Cruz Elementary District #28, the National Challenger Center, NASA, Air National Guard, the University of Arizona MESA program, the UA Space Imagery Center, the UA department of planetary sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, the Air Force Association, the Arizona Space Grant Program, National Optical Astronomy Observatories, the Smithsonian Institution's Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, Arizona Challenger Centers (Pima and Phoenix), ASARCO Mineral Discovery Center;

Also: Stellar Vision, Starizona, McDonald's Nogales, International Dark Skies Association, Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department, Nogales Fire Department, Tubac Fire Department, Sonora Astronomical Society of Green Valley, Safeway Nogales, Celestial Sculptures, Nogales Police Department, Border Print Shop, Arizona State University Mars K-12 Educational Program, Southern Amateur Rocketry Association, Pro-Printing Services, TuTV, KNOG radio, Nogales International, the Planetary Society, U.S. Forest Service, KSMB - Fox 11, Mariposa Health Clinic, Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Dasani Water, Citizens Utilities, Huerta Trucking, Nogales High School Print Shop, Nogales High School Air Force J ROTC.

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