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Now you can bring the excitement of the space shuttle Endeavor’s final launch into your classroom with the NASA webcast

March 25, 2011

Donald McNeill will be part of the NASA webcast for Endeavors final launch

Getting kids excited about space exploration is easy. After all, what child hasn’t expressed an interest in becoming an astronaut at one time or another?

Now you can bring that excitement right into your classroom with the NASA DLN webcast on April 19, 2011 for the final launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Detailed shuttle mission coverage is available online on the NASA site.

Through distance learning technologies like videoconferencing and webcasting, the DLN connects students and teachers with NASA experts and education specialists. There are numerous modules in the Event Catalog for all grade levels featuring science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and STEM content that highlights NASA research and missions like the Endeavor launch.

In addition, NASA recently announced that game inventor and lifelong space enthusiast Donald McNeill has been added to the NASA DLN webcast on April 19, 2011 for the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Endeavor’s final launch, STS-134, coincides with the “launch” of McNeill’s new NASA Space Terminology Deck, an add-on deck designed for use with the popular You’ve been Sentenced! word game. After brokering a Space Act Agreement with The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), McNeill’s  firm produced the new deck in conjunction with NASA’s Education Department. Together, the two chose words that reflected the rich history and future of NASA and space exploration.

During the webcast, McNeill will explain to the millions watching why he felt that encouraging children to learn more about space and space exploration was so important. As a child in the 1960’s and 1970’s, McNeill grew up in El Lago Keys Estates Houston, Texas — home to many of the pioneers of NASA’s space program. In fact, the first man on the moon Neil Armstrong (Gemini 8, Apollo 11) lived just up the street, neighbor Ron Evans (Apollo 17) lived a block away, and Fred Haise (Apollo 13) was quite literally just next door.

The “space culture” of the era and friendship with these national heroes made a permanent impression on the entire McNeill family. McNeill’s older brother Kevin Lee McNeill, co-author of the NASA Space Terminology Deck, was also profoundly influenced during his youth by close contact with these NASA legends. He has spent the majority of his professional life with Lockheed Martin and was the Program Manager for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) which launched successfully in August 2005. These brothers share a lifelong passion for space exploration and are eager to share this enthusiasm with children and families nationwide.

“Playing You’ve been Sentenced! in conjunction with the NASA Space Terminology Deck is a fun and memorable way to deliver and understand these terms and data,” says Kevin McNeill. “The NASA Space Terminology Deck also contains the names of past astronauts, missions and craft that will help teach the rich history of NASA to children in grades 5 – 9.”

STS-134 LAUNCH FACTS FOR YOUR CLASSROOM

  • Launch Name: STS-134
  • Launch Mission: The shuttle mission will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station and will also mark the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour.
  • Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Endeavor
    Launch Site:  Kennedy Space Center, Launch Pad 39A
    Launch Time: 7:48 p.m. EDT
  • Launch Crew: The STS-134 crew members are Commander Mark Kelly, Pilot Gregory H. Johnson and Mission Specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori.

 Want to learn more about McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds’ award-winning, educational games like You’ve been Sentenced!Twisted Fish and more? Visit McNeill Designs for game rulesprintable score sheets, or even order online.

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