NOAA 2001-027
Contact: Pat Viets


In celebration of Pennsylvania's Space Satellite and Technology Week, NOAA will feature state-of-the-art technology and world-class presenters at the Satellites and Education Conference, March 7 - 9, at West Chester University, Pennsylvania, the commerce department agency announced today.

Gregory Withee, NOAA assistant administrator for satellite and information services, will present the opening session on "Learning Opportunities and Educational Activities." He will describe various learning opportunities and ongoing educational activities available from NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. This service operates the nation's geostationary and polar-orbiting environmental satellites. Images of clouds from NOAA's satellites are well-known to television viewers; the images are shown daily on weather forecasts.

"NOAA is proud to co-sponsor this conference, which is focused on introducing educators to a wide range of learning opportunities available through satellites," Withee said. "Today's students are tomorrow's scientists and engineers -- hopefully satellite engineers."

A featured luncheon speaker on the first day of the conference is Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction. He is also considered the National Weather Service expert on winter snow storms. At his presentation on "East Coast Winter Snowstorms," Uccellini will address the forecasts and science issues related to recent snowstorms that have affected the eastern United States.

At the conference, educators and science and technology professionals share classroom applications of satellite data and advanced technologies. The focus this year is introducing educators to the range of learning opportunities available through satellite technology. Workshop sessions also provide teaching materials and ideas for elementary through university classrooms. Exhibitors include ground station equipment vendors, and representatives of federal agencies, educational projects and commercial entities.

The conference will feature accredited, hands-on user demonstrations on environmental and communication satellites in classrooms. Presentations will include satellites in search and rescue, three-dimensional virtual earth systems, what's new in geostationary environmental satellites, real-time weather data and lesson plans for the classroom, and other topics of interest to science teachers and students.

The event will also feature Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Day, in which GLOBE-certified teachers will present workshops designed to find ways to turn K-12 students into scientists. Presentations will be made by representatives of NOAA, NASA, various schools, and the private sector, including a briefing on "Harry, the 250 Million Year Old Bacterium."

In addition, a motivational session and book signing will be presented on March 8, by Pat Croce, president of the Philadelphia 76ers, and author of "I Feel Great and You Will Too." This session is open to the general public.

The conference is sponsored by NOAA, NASA, several private companies, and various educational concerns. For more information, contact: Nancy McIntyre, West Chester University, 189 Schmucker Hall, West Chester, PA 19383; telephone: (610) 436-2393; e-mail: Visit the Web site: