NASA is teaming up with R&B singer Mary J. Blige toinspire young women to pursue science and technology.
Blige, famous for such songs as "Real Love,""No More Drama" and "Family Affair," also started thecharity Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now.
Through FFAWN and NASA's Summer of Innovation project, Bligeand the space agency hope to encourageyoung women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering andmathematics ? such as becoming an astronaut.
"There are many opportunitiesfor women and girls to get empowered and encouraged through programs thatfoster 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 careerpossibilities to girls and young women across the nation," Melvinsaid.
The partnership plans to train FFAWN high school participantsto teach science to younger middle school students this summer at the New YorkCity Housing Authority Van Dyke Community Center and the Harlem Children's ZonePromise Academy. The NASA Science, Engineering, Mathematics and AerospaceAcademy project at York College of the City University of New York is alsoworking on the project.
"Working with FFAWN is a rare opportunity to helpspread the STEMmessage into communities not always readily accessible to us," Melvinsaid. "Mary's presence can help NASA make the STEM message more appealingto these communities and increase the pipeline of underrepresented studentsgoing into these disciplines."