Zero-Gravity Gives Teachers
a Lesson and a Wild Ride

"Up, Up, and Away in Zero-Gravity"
TIME for Kids
November 7, 2008

By Nellie Gonzalez Cutler

Masterflight Foundation Executive Director, Mordechai Levin, (third from left) and other Teachers are head over heels about science on G-Force One, sponsored by Northrop Grumman Foundation's Weightless Flights of Discovery.



Awesome. Fabulous, Exhilarating. Those are just some of the words that teacher Pamela Greyer uses to describe her flight on G-Force One on October 21. She experienced the thrill and weightlessness each time the aircraft soared then descended (see chart). Greyer whooped and giggled as she floated upside down,defying gravity. Oh, and she conducted a few experiments, too.

The plane moves in a series of arcs called parabolas. Each time the plane swoops up and down, it creates a temporary micro-gravity environment.



Greyer teaches science in public school in Chicago, Illinois. “I’ll take what I learned into the classroom,” she says. Greyer and 54 other teachers were part of the Weightless Flights of Discovery program,which is sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

Pamela Greyer (right) and friends observe the effects of weightlessness.



Northrop Grumman, a defense and technology company helps teachers discover the joy of science.

“We want to show that math and science can be cool and can take you far,” Sandra Evers-Manly, the foundation’s president told TIME FOR KIDS. “Our nation is dependent on quality math and science students and teachers.”

Zero-Gravity Flight path of G-Force One (Image Courtesy of FlightAware.com)


In three years, the program has given nearly 1,000 educators the chance to experience Zero-Gravity (weightlessness.) Flights depart from locations around the country. Last week, the plane soared over Wisconsin and Lake Superior. During the two-hour trips, teachers conducted experiments, which they videotaped.

Masterflight Foundation Executive Director, Mordechai Levin, Learns about Newton’s First Law of Motion: “A body in motion will stay in motion,
Unless acted upon by some external force – like THE CEILING.”



For Dwight Daugherty, who teaches physics and chemistry at Cabot High School in Cabot, Arkansas, the ride was truly inspiring. He hopes to share his enthusiasm with his students. “A goal of mine as a teacher is to produce an astronaut,” he says. But he admits only one thing could and that is “to do it over and over again.”

Return from Zero-Gravity to "Masterflight in the News".