NASA is teaming up with R&B singer Mary J. Blige to inspire young women to pursue science and technology.
Blige, famous for such songs as "Real Love," "No More Drama" and "Family Affair," also started the charity Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now.
Through FFAWN and NASA's Summer of Innovation project, Blige and the space agency hope to encourage young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics ? such as becoming an astronaut.
"There are many opportunities for women and girls to get empowered and encouraged through programs that foster education, career development, self esteem and personal growth," Blige said in a NASA public service announcement.
NASA astronaut Leland Melvin also appeared in the video, viewable on NASA Television's Youtube channel.
"This project will showcase endless career possibilities to girls and young women across the nation," Melvin said.
The partnership plans to train FFAWN high school participants to teach science to younger middle school students this summer at the New York City Housing Authority Van Dyke Community Center and the Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy. The NASA Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy project at York College of the City University of New York is also working on the project.
"Working with FFAWN is a rare opportunity to help spread the STEM message into communities not always readily accessible to us," Melvin said. "Mary's presence can help NASA make the STEM message more appealing to these communities and increase the pipeline of underrepresented students going into these disciplines."