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Dr. Christine Darden joins Brooks Crossing Innovation + Opportunity Center along with NASA in nationwide celebration of the James Webb Space Telescope launch

Community invited to STEM Event on November 6


Dr. Christine Darden, recipient of a Congressional Gold medal and leader in the sonic boom technology during her 40 year career at NASA, will join The Brooks Crossing Innovation + Opportunity Center (550 30th Street, Newport News 23607 ) on November 6, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. until 1 p.m. to celebrate a free STEM Community Exploration Event.


Brooks Crossing has joined approximately 500 sites across the country to celebrate the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s next great space science observatory. To commemorate the occasion, middle school-aged students and their families are invited to come out to meet Dr. Christine Darden, one of NASA’s “Hidden Figures”; Chris Long, flight systems engineering manager for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland; and Julie Williams-Byrd, center chief technologist at Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA.


“We are thrilled that Brooks Crossing is an official host site for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope launch community events,” said Betsy McAllister, Hampton City School STEM Educator and Educator in Residence at the National Institute of Aerospace. “We have partnered with Hampton City and Newport News Public Schools, the City of Newport News, the National Institute of Aerospace, Virginia Space Grant Consortium, NASA and Old Dominion University to help our community celebrate this amazing feat of science and engineering. People of all ages and backgrounds will find inspiration in the Webb mission, which will fundamentally change our understanding of the universe for this generation and many to come.”


Participants can meet guest speakers and subject matter experts in STEM while learning about STEM careers and participating in hands-on activities with a wide range of STEM-related exhibitors. Twenty-one confirmed exhibitors include NASA, the National Institute of Aerospace, the Virginia Living Museum, Denbigh Aviation Academy, The Mariners’ Museum, Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Portsmouth Museums, Menchville High School Robotics Team, Naval Information Warfare Center, and more.  


Guests can also register on-site to visit the Center’s Innovation Lab (iLab) and explore virtual reality, the recording studio, woodcutting, and fabrics.  Food trucks will also be at the event.


The event is free and registration is not required.  Students must be accompanied by an adult.  Masks and social distancing are required inside the facility and are strongly encouraged outside.


For more information, please visit:  https://sites.google.com/view/stemexplorationcommunityevent.


Webb is the largest and most complex space science telescope ever built – the premier observatory of the next decade. This international mission, led by NASA in partnership with the European and Canadian space agencies, will launch on December 18, 2021.


The observatory will provide a new view of the cosmos and push the field of astronomy into a new era. The telescope will observe the universe in the infrared, peering inside dust clouds to study light from distant parts of the universe for the very first time – the first galaxies that formed about 13.5 billion years ago – and give us insight into how our universe formed. It will also explore distant worlds in other solar systems, as well as objects in our own solar system. Webb will extend the scientific discoveries of other NASA missions like the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory, and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.


Brooks Crossing Innovation + Opportunity Center is located at 550 30th Street – Suites 101 & 102, Newport News, VA 23607.  This event will be both outdoor and indoor.  To learn more about the Webb telescope, visit webb.nasa.gov.


For information about other Webb community event locations, visit webb.nasa.gov/content/features/celebrateWebb.html.