Entertainer/Cosmonaut Seeks to Excite Young People About Space, Debuts International Competition to Encourage Math and Science Education

HOUSTON, September 3, 2003 – Spaceweek International Association has named Lance Bass as 2003 Youth Spokesperson for World Space Week, the largest international space event held annually, and unveiled a worldwide student contest designed to underscore the fundamental importance of math and science education. Bass, a member of the popular band *NSYNC and certified cosmonaut, will lead World Space Week’s efforts to excite youth about space.

Declared by the United Nations in 1999, World Space Week is held October 4 – 10 each year and is marked by celebrations in more than 50 nations around the world. Events in the United States will focus on the vital role math and science education play in creating tomorrow’s space leaders and pioneers.

Bass will launch this effort with a global youth competition, “Lance’s Lab,” in which students will design a hypothetical International Space Station module for Bass to live and work in. Winners will meet Bass at an awards ceremony in early 2004.

“For decades, spaceflight has been the privilege of a select few,” said Bass, an avid space enthusiast. “And while those pioneers explored new frontiers and inspired us with their amazing achievements, now is the time to open that horizon to everyone. By engaging students in the science and engineering of space flight, we’re empowering a new generation with the skills needed to explore the frontiers of space and achieve their dreams.”

Open to students in grades K – 12, Lance’s Lab will teach students about living and working in space. Special instructional materials are available to schools at no charge, featuring space-related math and science activities for teachers to use during World Space Week. Materials are available in several languages with activities for all grade levels and require little or no teacher preparation. By participating in World Space Week, teachers can excite students about learning and receive cash grants. For details or to download educational materials, visit: www.spaceweek.org/education.html

The theme of this year’s World Space Week is “Space: Horizon Beyond Earth.” In keeping with this concept, World Space Week seeks to ensure youth today have every opportunity to reach and explore that horizon by emphasizing the benefits of a strong education in math and science, and encouraging young people to pursue careers in space science and engineering.

“We live in a world today that provides extraordinary opportunities for anyone to become the next great pioneer,” said Bass. “I’m excited for this chance to help young people pursue their dreams. I look forward to meeting a few of the actual designers of the Lance’s Lab competition next year. And who knows, maybe one of those designs will end up onboard an actual space station.”

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About World Space Week

From the United States to Djibouti, from Antarctica to Russia, World Space Week is celebrated annually in more than 50 nations, on all seven continents. It serves to celebrate the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition. Declared in 1999 by the UN General Assembly, World Space Week marks the anniversary of two great milestones of humanity’s expansion into space:

  • 4 October 1957 — Date of the launch into outer space of the first human-made Earth satellite, SPUTNIK I, thus opening the way for space exploration;
  • 10 October 1967 — Date of the entry into force of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

Founded in 1981, Spaceweek International Association (SIA) is non-profit organization that proudly supports the United Nations in the global coordination of World Space Week. SIA works to strengthen the link between space and society through public education, participation, and dialogue on the future of space.

For more information on events and celebrations across the globe, visit www.spaceweek.org.

Jeremy Pyle
Hill & Knowlton for World Space Week
(415) 281-7142