During the launch’s webcast, the game’s inventor, Donald McNeill, will explain to viewers and the astronauts themselves how to play the game. He will also use the winning Thurgood Marshall sentence as an example. The students will be tuned in on launch day, April 19, to find out whose sentence was chosen.
Enrichment instructor Nancy Ventresca explains, “The students are so excited to have a small piece of history during this special launch. Our students were members of the DASEF, Launching a Dream Program two years ago and the whole school got caught up in the excitement of the program. Our team of astronauts won the Hubble Telescope Challenge Award that year and the enthusiasm for learning about space has continued.
That same childhood enthusiasm for space exploration is, in fact, what led to the game’s creation. As a child in the 1960’s and 1970’s, game inventor Donald McNeill grew up in El Lago Keys Estates Houston, Texas -- home to many of the pioneers of NASA’s space program. For example, 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.
And on April 19, McNeill will be able to make his own personal mark on the space program during the webcast of the STS-134 launch of the space shuttle Endeavor. This is a historic mission not because it is the final launch for Endeavor, but because the mission will be commanded by Mark Kelly, husband of Senator Gabby Gifford of Arizona, who was wounded in a tragic shooting earlier this year.
For more information, please contact the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation founder Dr. Stephanie Wright at (302) 659-5003 or visit http://www.dasef.org/