Teachers in Space Contest Winners Herald Return to Flight Moment

For Immediate Release

Charlotte KiangTeachers in Space, Inc. (TIS) today announced two contest winners who will participate in the organization’s first human research flight activity since resuming operations in 2006. Charlotte Kiang, an engineering graduate student from Cornell University and winner of the TIS Spacesuit Test Team Essay Contest, will join Syracuse middle school teacher and 2009 TIS Pathfinder national contest winner James Kuhl on a 24parabola microgravity flight from Ottawa on 15 October 2015, testing a commercial spacesuit made in Brooklyn by Final Frontier Design (FFD).

Spacesuit Test Team Contestants from across the US paid an entry fee, which helped cover the cost of the flight, and submitted essays on the importance of space and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Charlotte wrote how the final flight of space shuttle Atlantis “opened my eyes to the need for US flight capabilities to the International Space Station” leading her to research the US space program and pursue STEM studies in high school and beyond. “Whatever career path they choose,” she writes, “students with a STEM education have the ability to impact our world with research, technology and practice that either stays on this Earth or leaves it.”

James 'Jim' KuhlJJames “Jim” Kuhl is a 6th grade Earth Science teacher from Syracuse, NY. Jim applied for the original NASA Teacher in Space program in 1985 and was a finalist for the NASA Educator Astronaut program in 2004. In 2009, Jim was one of seven Pathfinders chosen in a national competition to revive the Teachers in Space program and to participate in flight opportunities as they become available. The October 15 flight is the first flight awarded by Teachers in Space, Inc. to any of those 2009 contest winners. Jim has been a developer and leader of the TIS Flight Experiments professional development program for teachers since 2011. He has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Education and serves on the board of directors of the Science Teachers Association of New York State.

Judges of the Spacesuit Test Team Essays included NASA Deputy Chief Technologist Jim Adams, educators and scientists from New York University, City University of New York, Columbia University, and Washington University, SPACE (Science, Cultural, Physical and Academic Enrichment) CEO and TIS Pathfinder Lanette Oliver, Quest for Stars CEO Bobby Russell, and award winning radio host Frank Todaro of “The Invisible World”.

Brienna Henwood from NASTAR getting strapped in for a test run in the Final Frontier Designs' simulator.Participants in the October 15 Flight, coordinated by Integrated Spaceflight Services, will assist in testing FFD’s commercial spacesuit, pressure garment, fire proof garment, anti-g pants, and a biosensor system during a highly publicized microgravity research flight. The FFD spacesuit is the first multipurpose commercial spacesuit and the first spacesuit to seek FAA approval.

Upcoming flight experiment opportunities from Teachers in Space, Inc. include contests for teachers and their students to design CubeSat experiments which can be flown on vehicles such as the Perlan II stratospheric glider introduced at the 2015 OshKosh airshow, or in orbital CubeSat such as those offered by ArduSat. Examples of such experiments were taught in the August 2015 Teachers in Space Flight Experiments Workshop sponsored by Perlan Project and supported by Silicon Valley Space Center, NASA, SpaceX, XCOR and ArduSat.

Teachers in Space, Inc. is an educational 501(c)(3) organization which stimulates student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by providing their teachers with extraordinary space science experiences and industry connections. Our professional development workshops for STEM teachers include personal and experimental flight opportunities, hands-on work with data sensors and remote device control, opportunities to meet and interact with scientists and developers at NASA and commercial space companies, and unique teaching materials and design contests to take back to the classroom. Teachers In Space, Inc. sparks a transfer of passion for space science and exploration from teachers to their students, preparing and encouraging those students to pursue further education and exciting, rewarding careers in the emerging space industry.

Elizabeth Kennick, President
646 283 6281

Joe Latrell, Vice President
717 406 2394

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