On May 2, 2001, the
California Science Center will host an outreach program of the Second
Pan-Pacific Basin Workshop on Microgravity Sciences designed to help
students, educators, researchers, and the public learn more about how
life on Earth can benefit from research conducted in space.

The morning session will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.
and targets middle and high school students, while the afternoon
session, scheduled from 4:00 p.m. to 5:40 p.m., will be open to the
general public. Both sessions will link with several broadcast sites
across the country and the afternoon session will feature a live
global town hall meeting including audiences in Australia and Hawaii.

Microgravity, or “Micro-G,” is a state of very weak
gravity — one-millionth of what is felt on Earth. Conducting physical
and life sciences research in such an environment gives scientists
unique opportunities to study processes that are obscured by gravity
on Earth. In the coming era of the International Space Station (ISS)
— the largest space structure and most multinational space endeavor
in history — the term “microgravity” will become increasingly
commonplace. Efforts such as this program will help educate the public
about the potential advancements that can improve everyday life as a
result of these studies.

The panel of experts and their topics will include Gerard Faeth,
Ph.D., professor, University of Michigan, on combustion; Nicholas
Bigelow, Ph.D., professor, University of Rochester, on
micro-measurement (atomic clock); Chiaki Mukai, M.D., astronaut and
cardiovascular surgeon, on living and working in space; and Bernard
Harris, M.D., astronaut and surgeon, will speak on what it takes to
fly. The event will also include demonstrations and taped segments
with opinions from communities in various Pan Pacific nations.

The outreach program is an initiative of the Second Pan-Pacific
Basin Workshop on Microgravity Sciences, a gathering of scientists who
meet to discuss the latest physical, chemical, and biological
discoveries related to microgravity and the space environment. One of
the goals of the workshop is to “take upon itself the challenge to
reach out to society in an effort to address ways that scientists can
contribute to the betterment of the world we live in.”

This year’s workshop will take place May 1-4 in Pasadena, Calif.
California Institute of Technology President David Baltimore is an
honorary co-chair, and Vice Provost David Goodstein is an organizing
committee co-chair. Participants in the workshop will include the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National
Space Development Agency of Japan, the Chinese Academy of Sciences,
the Canadian Space Agency, and the Russian Space Agency. The first
workshop was held in 1998 at Waseda University in Tokyo. China will
host the next in 2003.

The California Science Center’s participation in the outreach
program fulfills its mission, which is, in part, to stimulate public
interest in science learning and make it accessible to everyone. For
more information on the outreach sessions, call the Communications
Office at 213/744-7446.

California Science Center is located at 700 State Drive,
Exposition Park, Los Angeles. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Both the
Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. Admission
to the exhibits is free; IMAX tickets range from $3.75 to $7.50. For
show times, group rates or advance ticket purchases, phone
213/744-2019. Parking is $5; enter the visitor lot at 39th and
Figueroa Street. For general information, phone 323/SCIENCE or visit
the Web site at www.casciencectr.org.