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Seven JPPSS Teachers Train Like Astronauts in Zero Gravity Weightless Flights

Seven Jefferson Parish Public School System teachers took a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to train like astronauts and perform experiments during the unique Zero Gravity weightless flights on September 20 out of Gulfport Airport.

The Zero Gravity Weightless Flights of Discovery is an innovative science and engineering education program that incorporates zero gravity flight experiences for teachers.

Superintendent Dr. Diane Roussel flew with 14 teachers three years ago in order to further her programs about careers in aeronautics, engineering, math, and science.

The Zero-G program utilizes hands-on science workshops to help educators teach students to share the fun and excitement of science, technology, engineering, and math. The program will prepare teachers to lead students in topics that relate to 30 National Science Standards.

During a pre-flight workshop held at the end of July, the JPPSS teachers received instruction in science and engineering concepts, pre-flight training in weightlessness, and tips on experiment design and demonstration to learn how to work in lunar, Martian and zero gravity environments.  They also learned how to relate those experiments to science, engineering, technology, and mathematics curriculum development.

The teacher flights included approximately 15 parabolas ranging from low-gravity environments typical of the moon (1/6 G) and Mars (1/3 G) to complete weightlessness.  Each weightless period lasted approximately 30 seconds in the specially modified G-FORCE ONE aircraft.

The Zero Gravity Weightless Flights of Discovery are sponsored by Northrop Grumman.