NASCAR racing champion Jeff Gordon knows it takes more than skilled
driving to win an automobile race: It takes a team with knowledge in the
fields of technology, engineering, physics and, yes … even basic math and

That’s why he’s making a guest appearance on an upcoming
NASA-produced video for young students – to help demonstrate that these
subjects are of vital importance in real-life situations, not just for
school problems.

Gordon will appear in the video “Patterns, Functions and Algebra:
Wired for Space” – the next episode of “NASA CONNECT,” a series of free NASA
instructional TV programs delivered to classrooms via satellite. The
episode, produced by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville,
Ala., will be shown Feb. 15, 2001.

“NASA CONNECT,” explains the Marshall Center’s Jim Pruitt, “is an
award-winning educational video series which enhances the teaching of math,
science and technology concepts in grades 5-8.” Pruitt, who is manager of
the Education Programs Department at the Marshall Center, points out that
“teachers also can register to receive corresponding standards-based lesson

Registration for lesson plans is available on the NASA CONNECT Web
site at:

The Web site also provides information on program air dates and
times, how to receive it from a satellite or find it on a channel in a
specific geographic area – even how to watch it on the Internet.

“The ‘Wired for Space’ show focuses on how we might travel in space
without the use of traditional fuels, which is an ongoing research project
here at Marshall,” said Pruitt. “We involved students in Baton Rouge, La.,
and St. Louis, Mo., to help demonstrate experiments to their student peers
across the country.”

Istrouma Middle Magnet School students in Baton Rouge, La., will
share NASA’s designs for a satellite propulsion system that will use
electromagnetic force to propel spacecraft without the use of propellants.
They will show students how to construct, operate and collect data from a
device that demonstrates electrodynamic propulsion.

Compton-Drew Investigative Learning Center students visited the St.
Louis Science Center in Missouri to demonstrate the Internet Plasma Physics
Education eXperience (IPPEX) Web activity. The IPPEX site was developed by
the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, N.J. The site
combines multimedia elements with built-in interactive exercises to help
students better understand the concepts of magnetism and electricity. The
Web site for the activity can be found at the following link, which will be
active Feb. 12, 2001:

NASA CONNECT, managed by NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton,
Va., provides five instructional videos to classrooms each year. More than
141,000 teachers are registered to receive the lesson plans, serving more
than 7 million students in approximately 7,600 schools across the country.
“Patterns, Functions and Algebra: Wired for Space” is the second NASA
CONNECT episode produced by the Marshall Center.