3, 2, 1, lift off! Students explore space with mISSion imagination

DALLAS, TX -- Pairing the endless possibilities of space exploration with the limitless opportunities of education, Texas Instruments and NASA are partnering to show students how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) make feats like space exploration possible with mISSion imaginaTIon. The partnership and its programs aim to spur the imaginations of the next generation of scientists, engineers, explorers and innovators who are in today's math and science classrooms.

Combining expertise, TI Education Technology and NASA have developed programs that promote STEM-focused lessons for students and teachers in middle and high school. Launching today, the mISSion imaginaTIon online quiz allows participants to see if they have what it takes for a year-long mission aboard the International Space Station. After discovering how ready they are to live in space, students can then put their STEM skills to the test with the mISSion imaginaTIon design challenge, which asks students to devise solutions to four space-related challenges.

"Imagination is the fuel that feeds progress and innovation," said Peter Balyta, Ph.D., president of TI Education Technology. "Alongside NASA, we are excited to unleash student creativity as students explore how science, technology, engineering and math can solve future problems on earth, in space and beyond."

The questions students are asked to solve reflect the challenges commander Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko currently face as they participate in the first year-long mission aboard the station. Questions range from designing a plan for feeding astronauts to creating a waste-management system.

The winner of the challenge will receive a video chat with a NASA expert, a TI-Nspire™ CX graphing calculator and other fun prizes.

"If anything shows students how exciting STEM subjects can be, it's astronauts spending a year in a space station, doing science experiments and demonstrating cutting-edge technology," said Donald James, associate administrator for NASA's Office of Education. "The year-long mission is an excellent opportunity to capture students' attention and set them on a course to become the next generation of explorers."

Through the four-year TI/NASA partnership, students and educators will learn more about the space station, which enables researchers from all over the world to work on innovative experiments that cannot be done anywhere else. Further programs launching in 2016 will train students on the realities of continuous occupation in space.

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