Released May 9, 2003


HATTIESBURG - An episode of a television show featuring a University of Southern Mississippi chemistry professor and his students has been nominated for an Emmy award.

Dr. John A. Pojman and student researchers at Southern Miss appeared on an episode of NASA CONNECT, which was recently nominated for the 2003 Emmy Awards by the Cleveland Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS).

The program, "Measurement, Ratios and Graphing: Who Added the 'Micro' to Gravity?" was nominated in the Children/Youth Program category. This is the ninth Emmy nomination for NASA CONNECT.

"We are very happy that the show is receiving the credit it richly deserves," Pojman said.

The nominated show featured Pojman and his students in the lab at Southern Miss, where they work on experiments for the International Space Station involving polymer science and miscible fluids.

Pojman said, "The team at NASA CONNECT did an excellent job capturing the excitement of microgravity research and what we try to accomplish in our lab." Although NASA CONNECT is not carried by any Mississippi stations, the program will be available on video for teachers and may be viewed online at

Pojman worked with Dan Woodard, who is with the Physical Science Research Outreach and Education Department at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, on a script that used his lab's microgravity research and emphasized the work of Pojman's students. In late October, a film crew traveled to Southern Miss to film the segment. Pojman said it was a "pretty involved process."

"It was a lot of fun, but it was a lot of work too," he said. "You don't realize how much time it takes to film a program like that. It took three hours for a six-minute segment."

Joining Pojman in the filming was graduate assistant Bill Ainsworth and students Kaci Leard, Brian Zoltowski and Alford Perryman Jr. The program emphasized their work and included film of their microgravity experiments.

Woodard said the Southern Miss professor and his crew did a good job of explaining a complex scientific subject, which is why they were chosen for the program in the first place. "I checked with many people about John, including NASA's program manager for materials science here at the Marshall Space Flight Center, and the answers always came back the same," Woodard said.

"John's science is of the highest quality. And as an outreach and education manager, I already knew that he has a great gift for explaining complex science and is very committed to education. So, a star is born."



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July 15, 2003 2:29 PM