Northrop Grumman: Zero Gravity Helps Science And Math

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Northrop Grumman says that 77.8 percent of teachers sent floating around in a modified Boeing 727 aircraft flying parabolic arcs as part of the company's Weightless Flights of Discovery Program report an increase in the number of their students interested in pursuing science and math careers. In a release, the company said 205 once weightless (mostly middle-school) teachers have passed on the message that "science is cool" to an estimated 25,000 students and Northrop has qualified that interest with an acronym. The company says the initiative has driven interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Teachers from around the country flown in this year's continuation of the program (it ran in 2006 and 2007, too) should pass on their wonder to 6,000 more students. The program's supportive statistics were collected by Northrop via an online poll. Among other things, the poll found 91.9 percent of participating teachers responded that their students displayed "a notable increase" in their interest in science, with nearly 75 percent of the teachers noting their students display an increased desire to continue studies in science and math in high school and college. That interest is correlated with the teachers' incorporating their flight experiences into lesson plans and extracurricular activities.