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*** MARCH 2006 ***

Thin Mints, Carmel DeLites and nowЉ 'Space Cookies.'
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and the Girl Scouts of Santa Clara County, San Francisco Bay area and Monterey Bay area have joined forces to sponsor an all-girls robotics team, the Space Cookies. Team 1868 is comprised of 12 girls from several San Francisco Bay area high schools who formed a Girl Scout troop dedicated to math, science, engineering, and technology.
"NASA is committed to building the next generation of robotics engineers that come with new ideas and fresh approaches to the challenges of space exploration," said Mark Leon, NASA Ames education director. "One way to accomplish this is to attract and retain a diverse work force. The Girl Scouts are a strong step in this direction."
The Space Cookies currently draw their team members from public and private high schools in Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, San Jose and Santa Cruz.

NASA will be cheering as thousands of students test their engineering skills for robotics supremacy.
During the month of March, NASA's Robotics Alliance Project (RAP), FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and industry partners are holding 33 regional FIRST Robotics competitions to determine the best high school robotics teams. As part of the collaboration with FIRST, NASA is providing technical and logistics support and is the sponsor of six events. Selected events will be broadcast on NASA TV.
"NASA is constantly seeking out innovative ways to inspire students and spark an interest in science, technology and engineering. We need these students to help us build the next generation of spacecraft to explore the solar system, and the nation needs them to build the next-generation economy," said Dave Lavery, program executive for the Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters. "FIRST and NASA have found a unique way to create that spark and glean the raw engineering talent found in our high schools."
"Currently there are some very challenging technical problems for our space program, problems that we believe these future engineers will solve," said Mark Leon, education director at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. "It is all about the math," he added.

NASA has awarded approximately 4.65 million hours of supercomputing time to researchers. The computing time may help scientists solve some of the most challenging research problems involving climate variability, combustion burners, flow conditions and novel electronic materials.
NASA awarded the time under its new National Leadership Computing System initiative. The system was chartered to provide resources to computationally intensive research projects in the national interest. Researchers will use NASA's Columbia, one of the world's largest and most productive supercomputers. It is located in the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division at the agency's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
"These large allocations on the Columbia supercomputer will help leading scientists to dramatically accelerate advances in these fields, leading the way to new technologies and improving the human condition," said NAS Deputy Division Chief Bryan Biegel. The facility delivers world-class high performance computing capability to nearly 1,000 users at NASA and other government agencies, companies and universities.