WASHINGTON, March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA senior officials led a high-voltage education forum Tuesday in New York City to mentor and encourage young people, especially girls, to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies and careers.
New York middle school and high school students from the Women's Academy of Excellence; the Promise Academy; the New York City Housing Authority; and the General D. Chappie James Middle School of Science attended the event at the Stephen Weiss Studio in Greenwich Village.
Addressing the audience of more than 200 students, NASA's Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said, "One of our greatest responsibilities at NASA is inspiring the next generation of explorers to work hard and pursue their dreams. And it is my hope that some of those dreams include careers in science and engineering."
NASA collaborated with fashion designer Donna Karan's Urban Zen Foundation and the Foundation for Advancing Women Now (FFAWN), created by singer Mary J. Blige, to host this forum to inspire students from the New York City area.
NASA's Associate Administrator for Education Leland Melvin, a former astronaut, spoke about the collaboration. "The primary focus of NASA's education mission is to use the excitement and wonder of our programs to ignite a spark for all students to follow STEM studies that can lead to exciting career options. By collaborating with organizations like Urban Zen and FFAWN, whose missions are aligned with ours, we can identify and reach out to students who may not otherwise realize the opportunities that are available. That's important to me and to the agency."
Astronaut Cady Coleman also participated in the event even though she is living and working aboard the International Space Station. Twenty students asked her questions about her experience, as she orbits 220 miles above Earth.
The downlink is one in a series with educational organizations in the U.S. and abroad to improve STEM teaching and learning. It is an integral component of Teaching From Space, a NASA Education office. The office promotes learning opportunities and builds partnerships with the education community using the unique environment of microgravity and NASA's human spaceflight program.
NASA Television will air the event beginning Thursday, March 24. For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit:
For information about NASA's education programs, visit:
For information about the International Space Station, visit: