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Fri, Mar 21, 2008

Educator Barbara Morgan Awarded Challenger Center Honor

Spacefaring Teacher Receives President George H.W. Bush Award

On March 19 at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, TX, Challenger Center for Space Science Education and former President George H.W. Bush presented NASA Educator Astronaut Barbara Morgan with Challenger Center's top honor, The President George H.W. Bush Award.

The award was first given to President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush in 1995 for their support in continuing the mission of the Challenger 51-L crew that was tragically lost in 1986. Prior to the ceremony, Morgan (right) gave a brief presentation sponsored by the Marilyn Kent Byrne Student Success Center to students from Texas A&M.

Background information on President George H. W. Bush Award At the time of the Challenger accident, Vice President Bush was the first person to express his grief and great sorrow to the families, speaking for himself, the President and the Nation. He personally extended his hand to the families with a simple gesture of giving June Scobee a note with his home phone number and a message "Call if you need us." He was the first to support the Challenger families in creating the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, now an international education network of 50 Challenger Learning Centers across the United States and around the world.

Dedicated to the educational spirit of the 51-L mission, Challenger Learning Center programs engage students in science, math and technology and foster in them an interest to pursue careers in those fields.

Former President Bush has continued to provide his leadership and support to Challenger Center over the last 22 years. On April 11, 1995, as Challenger Center approached the 10th anniversary, the Challenger families gathered in Washington, DC. with friends and former President and Mrs. Bush. Challenger Center presented President and Barbara Bush, the Challenger Center Presidential Award recognizing the impact that their leadership had in fulfilling the dream of the family members in developing an on-going legacy in the memory of loved ones lost in the Challenger accident.

In appreciation of the Bushes continued support, Challenger Center created the President George H. W. Bush Award. This top honor is presented to distinguished individuals who encompass the same qualities of compassion, encouragement, and commitment to Challenger Center.

The President's presentation of the award to Barbara Morgan, NASA educator astronaut, back-up teacher to Christa McAuliffe, and long-time supporter of Challenger Center, is presented to Ms. Morgan for her dedication to education and for her persistence and tenacity to accomplish, after two decades, the "Teacher in Space Mission."

FMI: www.challenger.org

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