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AMERICAN EXPRESS(R) GEOGRAPHY COMPETITION LAUNCHED BY SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR

 AMERICAN EXPRESS(R) GEOGRAPHY COMPETITION
 LAUNCHED BY SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR
 NASA's First African-American Astronaut
 Includes Competition Poster in Official Flight Kit
 KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Launching on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour this Saturday, Sept. 12, at 10:23 a.m. EDT, is the American Express Geography Competition poster from the competition's fourth annual entry kit.
 NASA's first African-American astronaut and an American Express Geography Competition Advisory Committee member, Dr. Mae Jemison, received authorization from the Johnson Space Center to include the memento in the Official Flight Kit.
 As a 36-year-old NASA astronaut, medical doctor, and former Peace Corps officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia, West Africa, Dr. Jemison has become a strong supporter of furthering geography education. In 1989, Dr. Jemison joined the founding committee of the American Express Geography Competition where she has contributed invaluable insights into world exploration.
 With the mission to help American students improve geography literacy nationwide, the annual American Express Geography Competition launched its fourth year this September. The competition, which awards $100,000 to winning teachers and students, challenges 6th through 12th graders to identify and propose solutions to geographic issues related to the environment, travel and trade, and cultural diversity.
 "Just as this shuttle flight is fueled by a commitment to better understand space, we hope the competition will instill a passion among American children to learn about our interconnected world," said Tommaso Zanzotto, chairman of the American Express Geography Competition Advisory Committee.
 Students and teachers may request free entry kits, including the poster like the one on board the Endeavour, by calling 800-395-GLOBE September through Feb. 28, 1993. The competition's resident geographer, Ms. Atlas Map, is on hand at this toll-free number to assist students with geography-related questions Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 Endorsed by the Association of American Geographers, the American Express Geography Competition is jointly funded by the American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. and the American Express Philanthropic Program. Since 1987, American Express has given more than $35 million in support of education initiatives in the United States and internationally.
 -0- 9/10/92
 /CONTACT: Harriet Glasgow of Aberdeen Marketing, 404-233-4296, for American Express Geography Competition, or Audrey Jonckheer of American Express, 212-640-4992/ CO: American Express Geography Competition Advisory Committee ST: Florida IN: SU:


BR-BN -- AT017 -- 8202 09/10/92 16:37 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 10, 1992
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