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NEWS RELEASES 2004-05 :: DECEMBER 16, 2004


Approximately 70 young aeronautics engineers-in-training from across the state will meet on the Halifax Mall behind the Education Building in Raleigh on Dec. 17 to celebrate the Wright Brothers' accomplishment by participating in the Great Shoebox Glider Challenge.

The Great Shoebox Glider Challenge is considered to be the most popular event in "Partners in Flight," a project that began in 2003 to inspire students across the state to learn about the Wright Brothers and consider how they can best learn to "fly their dreams." The Great Shoebox Glider Challenge is an interdisciplinary, problem-based learning experience that challenges students in grades 4 - 12 to research, design, test, document and report their efforts to make a shoebox fly.

Teams from Spring Creek Elementary (Wayne County Schools), Ann Atwater Community Charter School (Durham), Piney Grove Middle (Stokes County Schools), and Columbia High (Tyrrell County Schools) will present their work to the NASA Challenge Master in Houston, Texas, via videoconferencing. Following the presentations, the air show will take place and shoebox gliders will fill the sky above Halifax Mall.

The event begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m., and will be available through a live, interactive Web cast to public school classrooms across the state. For more information, please contact Cris Crissman, Information and Technology Services, DPI, 919.807.3582, or by email,

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.