Shepard Award to be Presented at National Space Symposium

Today the Space Foundation announced the selection of Luther W. Richardson as the 2007 recipient of the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award. This award, given by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Space Foundation will be presented Monday, April 9 in Colorado Springs during the Opening Ceremony of the 23rd National Space Symposium. The Symposium, the premier annual space industry conference, will be held April 9-12, 2007, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.

“We are pleased to join the Astronaut Memorial Foundation and NASA in honoring such a deserving and forward-thinking educator with the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award,” said Elliot Pulham, Space Foundation, President and CEO. “This year, we are especially proud that a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison Alumni, Luther Richardson, was selected for his noteworthy accomplishments in bringing science and math to life for thousands of students and teachers through space and technology.”

Richardson was chosen for the effectiveness, depth, breath, and impact of his work with students and teachers. He established and heads the Columbus NASA Connections program in Columbus, Ga. This NASA earmark program combines the excitement of space, technology, and hands-on experiments to teach science and math across the curricula to elementary, middle, and high schools. The Connections program impacts over 30,000 students across the Muscogee County School District by using a multi-tiered system that includes student-initiated and directed near space experiments. Science and math education are further integrated through the program with a comprehensive system of teacher training and technology that tie the program together. Further, the predecessor to the Connections program, also founded by Richardson, was the most successful space science student group in the country with over 20 experiments selected for space flight or testing at NASA centers.

The AMF, NASA, and the Space Foundation present the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award annually for outstanding contributions made by K-12 educators or district level personnel to technology education. The award is named after Alan Shepard, one of the nation’s original seven Mercury astronauts, the first American to fly in space, one of only 12 humans who has walked on the moon, and a former AMF board member. It recognizes excellence, quality, and innovation in the development and application of technology in the classroom or to the professional development of teachers.

Recipients demonstrate exemplary use of technology to foster lifelong learners or to make the learning process easier. More information about the award is available at

More than 7,000 registrants, guests, speakers, exhibitors, and media are expected to attend the 23rd National Space Symposium. Participants include senior executive leadership from NASA, NOAA, and other civil space and government agencies; the commercial space and satellite broadcasting industry; the Department of Defense and military space commands; space entrepreneurs; universities and academia; and senior representatives from the global space industry. Individuals and organizations come to Colorado Springs to attend this four day conference that brings together all sectors of space – civil, commercial, and national security to discuss the most pressing issues facing the space industry today.

Highlights of the 23rd National Space Symposium also include an extensive exhibit center showcasing more than 140 companies and organizations, co-sponsored by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.; a spectacular opening ceremony, co-sponsored by Northrop Grumman; opening reception, co-sponsored by the Colorado Space Coalition; opening night fireworks and dessert reception, co-sponsored by United Space Alliance; the Corporate Partnership dinner, co-sponsored by Raytheon Company; the presentation of the Space Foundation’s highest honor, the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, at a luncheon co-sponsored by The Boeing Company; and the Space Technology Hall of Fame dinner, co-sponsored by Lockheed Martin.

Additional co-sponsors of the symposium are Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI), Ares Corporation, ATK, Axiom Worldwide, BAE Systems, BearingPoint, Cisco Systems, CSP Associates, General Dynamics, Honeywell, IAC 2008 Ltd., Infinite Links, ITT, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), SPACEHAB, Space Florida, Stellar Solutions, Swales Aerospace, and United Launch Alliance. Media partners for the 23rd National Space Symposium are Aviation Week, The New York Times and Space News. Frontier Airlines is the official airline of the conference.

Visit for secure online registration, an updated program agenda, confirmed speaker list, and exhibitor list.

About the Space Foundation

Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that vigorously advances civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors and inspires, enables, and propels tomorrow’s explorers. The Space Foundation also has an office in Washington, D.C., and field representatives in Houston, Texas and Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Space Foundation is a leader in space awareness activities, trade association services, research and analysis for the global space industry, and educational enterprises that bring space into the classroom. Along with partnering organizations, the Space Foundation also conducts Strategic Space and Defense (Oct. 9-11, 2007), in Omaha, Neb. For more information, visit