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NEWS RELEASES 2003-04

NEWS RELEASES 2003-04 :: DECEMBER 12, 2003

WRIGHT AROUND THE WORLD: PUBLIC SCHOOLS PARTNER IN FLIGHT CELEBRATION ON DEC. 17

Much of the world will be focused Kitty Hawk on the morning of Dec. 17, either on the sand or watching the first flight festivities on television. But, hundreds of students in North Carolina and Ohio will be watching via the Web to celebrate the famous Wright brothers in an educational Web cast called "Wright Around the World."

This live, interactive educational Web cast will culminate Partners in Flight, a project that brings North Carolina and Ohio students and educators together to learn of and celebrate their Wright brothers' connection. The project is sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Public instruction's Distance Learning Section. Everyone is invited to watch the web cast accessible at http://video.dpi.state.nc.us/eforums.

The Web cast on Dec. 17 will be a celebration of learning and accomplishment with a collaborative inquiry into the impact of the Wright brothers' invention led by the astronauts on the International Space Station, Commander Michael Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri. The session with the International Space Station astronauts will be broadcast on NASA TV from 9:40 to 10 a.m., as well as web cast.

Plans are to continue the inquiry with aerospace engineer and aviation historian, Jack Bacon, and Nancy Currie, an astronaut from Ohio who is now an ad hoc professor of engineering at North Carolina State University. At 10:35 a.m., we will pause for the Wright Flyer re-enactment at Kitty Hawk. Then, there will be a special salute to the Wright brothers with a special musical number called, "The Wright Boys Pitch, Yaw n' Roll" from the play "Dreams of Flight," written by June Guralnick, award-winning playwright and director of the Dreams-of-Flight Project. Guralnick will lead the arts-based inquiry into the impact of the invention of flight.

Presentations will follow as the official Partners in Flight mission patch is unveiled and student teams that distinguished themselves in the design challenges will make presentations. The event will culminate with an air show beside the Education Wall on Halifax Mall where teams from across the state will demonstrate their shoebox gliders. Participants will also enjoy a special remote control aerobatic flight demonstration performed by 14-year-old Kyle Stewart of Dunn.

The public is invited to attend the air show scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. on Halifax Mall (the grassy lawn surrounded by the government buildings downtown).

For three months, Partners in Flight has brought students such exciting videoconferences and Web casts as a visit with a Wright historian who portrayed Katharine Wright, the Wright brothers' sister; a workshop with a team of NASA astronauts and graphic artists on how to design mission patches; a session with Dr. Kathy Sullivan, first American woman to walk in space; and The Great Shoebox Design Challenge that challenged students to make a shoebox glider and learn to present their research.

In addition to The Great Shoebox Design Challenge, student teams met the challenges of designing a mission patch for the Partners in Flight Project and designing a space suit for the first Mars explorers. Adam Townley, a student of art teacher and Kenan Fellow, Nancy Carty at Wake County's Broughton High School, submitted the design selected to become the official Partners in Flight mission patch. The most outstanding Mars Space Suit design was submitted by the Wake County's Carnage Middle School team of Sara Lagueb, Alcrist Moreta, Missy Ward, and Stephanie Bingham, students of science teacher Holly Hanrahan, also a Kenan Fellow.

Teams in Flight North Carolina that met The Great Shoebox Challenge issued by ANSA and Partners in Flight include: Bob Waters' class at Columbia High School (Tyrrell County), Carol Lowe's class at North Surry High School (Surry County), Major Roger Bailey's Air Force Junior ROTC Team at Riverside High School (Durham Public Schools), Ron Halpern's class at Piney Grove Middle School (Stokes County Schools), and Allison Bluj's middle school team at Ann Atwood Community School in Durham.

North Carolina students whose patch designs are displayed in Project Patch Gallery include the teams of teachers Curtis Brower and Amy Menanno from Zeb Vance Elementary School (Vance County Schools) and Ann Kinlaw's team from East Bladen High School (Bladen County Schools).

For more information, contact Cris Crissman, special Projects Consultant with Distance Learning at NC DPI, 919.807.3582 or ccrissma@dpi.state.nc.us.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 107 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communications and Information, 919.807.3450.