Photo Release -- 2009 Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery Program Ends On a High Note in Washington, D.C. With 29 Educators Defying Gravity for STEM Education

Los Angeles, California, UNITED STATES

Teachers Represent Schools From Throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia; Video and Photos Will Help Teachers Show Students That Science is Cool

2009 Program Flew 118 Teachers, Which Translates Into 36,000 New Students Reached With the Message That Science is Fun and Cool

Editor's Note: Video, hi-res photos and teacher interviews available upon request.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) Foundation sent 29 educators representing various school districts throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia into weightlessness today on the fourth and final stop of the 2009 Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery program, which aims to inspire and prepare the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers -- critical areas where the United States has fallen behind globally. In all, 118 teachers from across the country participated in the 2009 program, with 36,000* students expected to be reached this year with the message that science is cool and fun, and that a career in the sciences is both rewarding and achievable.

A photo accompanying this release is available at

The program, in its fourth year, provides educators with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prepare for and participate in micro- and zero-gravity flights during which they test Newton's Laws of Motion with a variety of planned experiments. The experience and experiment results are captured through photos and videos that the teachers will then take into their classrooms to share with their students in order to demonstrate how exciting and cool careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can be.

The United States is experiencing a shortage of college graduates in the STEM disciplines, a negative trend that bodes ill for the nation's industries that depend on talented scientists and mathematicians. Because studies have indicated most children make the decision to pursue math and science education and careers during middle-school, Northrop Grumman developed the Weightless Flights of Discovery to engage teachers, and key influencers in the lives of students during these crucial years.

The Northrop Grumman Foundation supports diverse and sustainable programs for students and teachers. These programs create innovative education experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

* Based on the nationally accepted estimate in the industry, where middle and high school teachers typically teach 25 students in 6 different classes during each of two semesters per year.

Weightless Flights of Discovery

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