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NASA Teams With School/Theatre To Teach Students Science/Math

HAMPTON, Va., March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Some elementary school students will get a unique hands-on science lesson thanks to a partnership between NASA's Langley Research Center, the Hampton city schools and CineBistro, a local movie/entertainment complex.

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More than 140 fourth and fifth graders from Kraft Elementary School – a school named after the NASA engineer who was America's first human space mission flight director – are scheduled to be at CineBistro in Hampton, March 20, to learn more about Newton's laws of motion. Their lesson will include not only how those laws, which form the basis for classical mechanics, apply to landing a rover safely on Mars, but also how they can apply to recreational activities such as bowling.

Reporters are invited to join the students during their lesson, which starts shortly after 9:30 a.m., Wed., March 20 at CineBistro in Peninsula Town Center. For the latest information contact Sandy Berglund at 864-0629.

"A Mars Science Laboratory engineer from NASA Langley will be broadcast on the big screen in one of the movie theatres, through a connection with NASA Education's Digital Learning Network," said Bonnie Murray, NASA Langley education specialist. " David Way was the lead of the local team that helped guide the rover through entry, descent and landing. He will help teach students how angles, geometry and Newton's laws of motion play a role in sending spacecraft to other planets."

But what part does bowling play? That's the interactive, hands-on part of the lesson. Digital Learning Network cameras will be positioned in CineBistro's bowling alley area. Three students will take turns bowling while the group in the theatre watches and takes note of their performance. A more experienced bowler will then take over the lane, so the entire group of 4 th and 5 th graders can assess the difference between the amateurs and a professional.

The student bowlers will join their classmates in the theatre and NASA educators will guide all of them through a lesson about the principles of Newton's Laws and angles in geometry. The professional bowler will explain how those principles make a difference in increasing the chances of getting a "strike," and the NASA engineer will reinforce the concepts with the out-of-this-world example of a rover landing on Mars.

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