Mind Over Matter

Education Initiative Partners

The following companies and organizations are partnering with the this Global Initiative Team to help us meet our goals.




Ashoka's mission is to shape a citizen sector that is entrepreneurial, productive and globally integrated, and to develop the profession of social entrepreneurship around the world. Ashoka identifies and invests in leading social entrepreneurs - extraordinary individuals with unprecedented ideas for change in their communities - supporting them, their ideas and institutions through all phases of their careers. Ashoka Fellows benefit from being part of the global Fellowship for life.

Anousheh supports ASHOKA as an E2 (entrepreneur to entrepreneur). She invests time and money in Ashoka to build their capacity and work with social entrepreneurs in the region around Iran, including the Middle East and Central Asia. She also works online via Changemakers.net.

Leroy Chiao, Astronaut


Astronaut Leroy Chiao, Ph.D. is an Entrepreneur, Distinguished Chair Professor, Consultant and Public Speaker. Dr. Chiao has extensive experience as a NASA Astronaut and prior to that, as a Research Engineer.  He is involved in entrepreneurial business ventures and works in the US, China, Japan and Russia. He is the Executive Vice President of Space Operations and a Director of Excalibur Almaz, a private manned spaceflight company.  In addition, he is a Director of InNexus, a biotechnology/pharmaceutical development company.  Dr. Chiao is also the first Raborn Distinguished Chair Max Faget Mechanical Engineering Professor at Louisiana State University.  Active as a consultant and public speaker, he also serves as the Chairman of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute User Panel, which is attached to the Baylor College of Medicine.  Dr. Chiao is an advisor to the Heinlein Prize Trust, a space education/commercialization non-profit.

Dr. Chiao left NASA in December, 2005 following a fifteen-year career with the agency.  A veteran of four space missions, Dr. Chiao most recently served as Commander and NASA Science Officer of Expedition 10 aboard the International Space Station. He has logged over 229 days in space - over 36 hours of which were spent in Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA, or spacewalks).

A native English speaker, Dr. Chiao also speaks Mandarin Chinese and Russian.  He has flown space missions and worked closely with Russian, Japanese and European Astronauts and their affiliated space agencies. Dr. Chiao is uniquely qualified to speak about the United States, Russian, Japanese, European and Chinese Space Programs. A Space Station Commander and Space Shuttle Mission Specialist, Dr. Chiao was also a certified Co-Pilot of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.  He is an expert in all facets of U.S. and Russian EVA hardware and operations and is EVA certified in U.S. and Russian spacesuits, tools, and training programs.  In September 2006, Chiao became the first American to visit the Astronaut Research and Training Center of China.  There, he met the first two national Chinese astronauts, Yang Liwei and Fei Junlong.

Dr. Chiao studied Chemical Engineering, earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1983.  He continued his studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, earning his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in 1985 and 1987.  Prior to joining NASA in 1990, he worked as a Research Engineer at Hexcel Corp. and then at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab.


Changemakers.net is building a global online "open source" community that competes to surface the best social solutions, and then collaborates to refine, enrich, and implement those solutions. The Changemakers community begins by creating a mosaic that is a framework for understanding the forces that drive a problem and a collaborative competition that bring together individual social change initiatives into a more powerful whole.

FoxFire Interactive

FREEFALL – An IMAX Space Film…About the Extremes of Gravity
FREEFALL is the first film in the IMAX format to tell the story of the extremes of gravity and weightlessness.  Take an incredible journey skydiving from an airplane, floating aboard the space station, and plunging into a black hole.

FREEFALL will be bolstered by a multi-featured website, YouTube videos, podcasts, a national outreach campaign (produced in association with the award-winning WGBH), a 3D digital version and a traveling exhibit featuring ESPN’s X Game athletes… and bungee jumping!

Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists and Explorers
FREEFALL is more than just thrill rides and amazing cinematography. By telling the story of research into the unknown, demonstrating the power of scientific inquiry, and bringing to life the dream of discovery, FREEFALL will inspire a new generation of scientists and explorers.

We begin on earth virtually strapped to the back of athletes as they defy gravity at ESPN’s X Games and skydive from 10,000 feet above the ground. We join astronauts aboard NASA’s famed “vomit comet.” We explore what gravity is and how it feels to freefall in space and on a roller coaster. We contemplate the effects of zero gravity on the human body with vivid animations and experiments aboard the space station. We experience the formation of a black hole and speculate about the mysteries of gravity that have yet to be explored.

The Production Team
Foxfire Interactive, an award-winning multimedia production company, is working in association with
scientists, educators, large format film producers, theater managers, and museum educators to create
the IMAX film FREEFALL. Executive Producers Brad Lisle and Karen Marmer Wald along with
Academy-Award nominated Director and Cinematographer David Douglas and Line Producer Greg
Eliason are collaborating with NASA, ESPN’s X Games, and WGBH Educational Outreach. Advisors
include MIT, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Boston’s Museum of Science, Pacific Science Center, Louisville Science Center, and the Smithsonian Theaters.

For more information, please contact:
Brad Lisle
Executive Producer - Freefall
Foxfire Interactive Corporation
500 East Washington Street, Suite 30
North Attleboro, MA  02760

Genesys Works

Genesys Works (formerly Genesys ITS, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that trains and employs high school students to perform technical services for major corporations. Our mission is to enable economically-disadvantaged high school students to enter the economic mainstream by providing them the knowledge, work experience and certifications required to succeed as technical professionals.

Infinity Project

The Infinity Project is a national award winning high school and early college math- and science-based engineering and technology education initiative that helps educators deliver a maximum of engineering exposure with a minimum of training, expense and time. Created to help students see the real value of math and science and its varied applications to high tech engineering - The Infinity Project is working with schools all across the country to bring the best of engineering to their students.

National Science Teachers Association

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), founded in 1944 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership of more than 55,000 includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in and committed to science education.

NSTA’s Guiding Principles are:

  1. Model excellence
  2. Embrace and model diversity through equity, respect, and opportunity for all
  3. Provide and expand professional development to support standards-based science education
  4. Serve as the voice for excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning, curriculum and instruction, and assessment
  5. Promote interest and support for science education, collaboratively and proactively throughout society
  6. Exemplify a dynamic organization that values and practices self renewal

National Space Biomedical Research Institute

Established in 1997 through a NASA competition, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute is working on countermeasures to the health-related problems and physical and psychological challenges men and women will face on long-duration missions. The research consortium's primary objective is to ensure safe and productive human space flight.

Projects also address key technologies required to enable and enhance exploration. In particular, NSBRI scientists and physicians are developing technologies to provide medical monitoring, diagnosis and treatment in the extreme environments of the moon and Mars.
NSBRI discoveries impact medical care on Earth. While solving space health issues, the Institute is transferring the solutions to patients suffering from similar conditions, including osteoporosis, muscle wasting, shift-related sleep disorders, balance disorders and cardiovascular system problems.

NSBRI scientists worked with NASA to revise the NASA Bioastronautics Roadmap that identifies and prioritizes the most critical risks confronting extended space flight.

To receive notification of NSBRI funding announcements, news releases and program information, register for the NSBRI E-News Service.

Contact Information:
National Space Biomedical Research Institute
One Baylor Plaza, NA-425
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: 713.798.7412
Fax:  713.798.7413
For more information contact info@www.nsbri.org

Plano Independent School District

The Plano Independent School District successfully supports a mission to provide an excellent education for all students. The incomparable performance of Plano ISD students participating in Advanced Placement courses and college-readiness exams gives them a competitive edge for career and post-graduate success. The district serves the residents of approximately 100 square miles in the southwestern corner of Collin County. This geographic area includes all of the city of Plano, the northern portions of the cities of Dallas and Richardson, the city of Parker and parts of Allen and Murphy. During the 2007-08 school year, Plano ISD will operate three early childhood schools, 43 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, five high schools, three senior high schools, two special programs centers, a science learning center and three athletic fields. The district also operates a main administrative office complex, a facility services center, data operations center, transportation center, distribution center and deployment facility.

Prodea Systems, Inc.
Prodea Systems

Quantum xTel

Quantum xTel is focused on addressing the cultural issues regarding science education. The adoption of the Internet and the growing dependence on computers, mobile phones, PDAs and other electronic technology has led to an ever-increasing demand of broadband communications. Quantum xTel offers a technology that unleashes the bandwidth using a new modulation technique providing a magnitude of higher spectral efficiency. This new modulation delivers unmatched data speed for variety of different access technologies including Wireless (WWAN, WLAN, PAN, Fixed), Wireline (Cable and Twisted Pair), Fiber and Satellite. This technology represents a significant improvement over conventional solutions (WiMax and next generation LTE).

Contact: Dr. Solyman Ashrafi Quantum xTel, Inc. CEO & Founder 5924 New Haven Drive, Plano, Texas 75093 214-244-6590 solyman.ashrafi@verizon.net

Space Academy for Educators

The Education Department of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Space Camp is housed on the first floor the Educator Training Facility (ETF), on the U.S. Space & Rocket Center campus. This building, which opened in June of 2005, also houses the Educator Resource Center (ERC) for NASA's Marshall Spaceflight Center.

The ETF serves as a resource for teachers from around the world to get classroom ideas and professional development. We regularly host professional development for both formal and informal educators, as well as NASA symposiums and corporate professional development programs.

St. Louis Science Center

University of Texas at Arlington College of Engineering and College of Science

World Space Week

World Space Week, October 4-10, is the ideal time for teachers to inspire students using the excitement of space.  This UN-declared event is the largest public space celebration on Earth.  Free teacher materials are available from our website www.worldspaceweek.org and from many other organizations.

X PRIZE Foundation

X Prize

The X PRIZE Foundation creates and manages prizes that drive innovators to solve some of the greatest challenges facing the world today.  With the success of the Ansari X PRIZE, the X PRIZE is now viewed as the leading model to leverage the elements of public interest, entrepreneurial spirit and cross-disciplinary innovation to bring about breakthroughs that benefit us all.  We believe that a small group of people with passion for a cause can achieve that which has never been attained. This is why we stage competitions that challenge issues that matter most.