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Keeping pace with Space Racers

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On Thursday, May 29, the new, CG, educational pre-school series Space Racers will roost at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Southern California's own KCET, the largest independent TV station in the U. S., invites children, parents, and admirers to special episode screenings at 10: 15 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. The festivities are free with an official RSVP at www.KCET.org/meetracers.

The aforementioned Space Racers celebration is one of several related events to unfold nationwide at NASA visitor centers and science museums. Local public television stations - such as program presenting channel Maryland Public Television (MPT) and Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver - continue to join forces with entities such the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. and Colorado's Wings Over the Rockies Museum. These combined efforts reinforce Space Racers as a tool in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education.

"This series promotes an early childhood STEM curriculum, with NASA serving as technical consultants on the scientific accuracy for each episode," attests Ruth Netting, Lead, Communications and Public Engagement, NASA Science.

Space Racers director/producer Mark Risely adds, "The educational content is part of the show's DNA. Our main curriculum is science, and the series is about NASA-like adventures in outer space. Content and curriculum doesn't dovetail much more perfectly than that! On other series, it's not so easy. Integrating a math or language curriculum into a non-math or language based series can be challenging, because it can feel a bit shoehorned."

Not coincidentally, series creator and executive producer Richard Schweiger states that a family field trip to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum is the inspiration for his Space Race feature film script, which later evolved into the TV series and more, including an upcoming interactive space exploration exhibit for pre-schoolers at the Virginia Air and Space Center. The customized installation depicts the comedic lead characters living, working, and playing in space.

"We are thrilled and delighted at the reception of Space Racers. The stations' reactions have been phenomenal, and we are really excited about the pick-up of the show thus far," says Schweiger. "Working on a Space Racers museum exhibit with the Virginia Air and Space Center is exactly what we could hope for in terms of marrying our characters to science and space education. And nothing is more pleasing than seeing the response of the children attending our events when they see Eagle, Hawk, Robyn and the rest of the Space Racers crew for the very first time. We are pleased to be giving our fans this special treat."

For a bigger taste of Spacer Racers, alight on the official website: www.SpaceRacers.org

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