X PRIZE, Virgin Unite and PlayLab Launch Rocket-Building Workshops for Children to Inspire New Generation of Space Explorers

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Working in partnership with the X Prize Foundation and Galactic Unite (the not-for-profit initiative of Virgin Galactic, its Future Astronaut customers and Virgin Unite), PlayLab today announced a series rocket-building workshops for children grade 4-7, designed to inspire the next generation of space enthusiasts and innovators.

Focusing on a collaborative effort to design, build and test rockets of varying designs, the workshop program helps build innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity skills and exposes children to science, engineering and aerospace technology. The workshop series will start on October 27, 2013, and run for four consecutive Sundays.

"Partnering with PlayLab and X PRIZE will give our team a chance to dive right in and start doing hands-on rocket building with the very kids we hope will be flying us to the moon someday”, explains Loretta Whitesides, Virgin Galactic Future Astronaut and Chair of the Galactic Unite Programs and Partners Committee. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to connect with young minds and see what great ideas they have for our future."

PlayLab’s project kits and workshops help children develop important life skills, which include creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and leadership. The project kits provide hands-on learning experiences for children. They also provide children with an avenue for exploring areas that interest them, or that parents want to expose them to.

"X PRIZE is delighted to work with PlayLab and Galactic Unite to give young students an after school program that lets kids engineer their own version of the original Ansari X PRIZE flights that launched the personal spaceflight revolution," says Gregg Maryniak, Secretary and Director of the X PRIZE Foundation.

“PlayLab is thrilled to work with X PRIZE and Galactic Unite to bring this exciting workshop to future innovators and inspire excitement in science, engineering and space” says Mohan Nadarajah, Founder & CEO, PlayLab.

Workshop Details:
The workshop will consists of eight unique sessions that will take place on four consecutive Sundays starting on October 27, 2013.
Dates: Oct 27, Nov 3, Nov 10 and Nov 17, 2013
Time: 10AM-2:30PM
Location: Northstar Montessori Private School, Mississauga, Ontario
For more information; please visit http://www.playlab.co/#!events/cnyc.

About X PRIZE (http://www.xprize.org)
The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity, thereby inspiring the formation of new industries and the revitalization of markets that are currently stuck due to existing failures or a commonly held belief that a solution is not possible. The Foundation addresses the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. It motivates and inspires brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital.

About Galactic Unite
Virgin Galactic and its Future Astronaut customers have teamed up with Virgin Unite, the non profit foundation of the Virgin Group, to make a difference in this new age of commercial space travel. Based on the fact that future generations will have opportunities to see the world as never before, Galactic Unite embraces the idea that new advances in science and technology have the potential to unlock answers to global challenges and change the world for the better. Galactic Unite is investing to help future generations make the most of these new advances in three ways: Education, Entrepreneurship and Inspiration. By working together, the future astronauts of Galactic Unite will leverage their knowledge, their resources and their experience to make a positive impact on the world of tomorrow.

About Virgin Galactic (http://www.virgingalactic.com)
Virgin Galactic, owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and aabar Investments PJS, is on track to be the world's first commercial spaceline. To date, the company has accepted nearly $80 million in deposits from approximately 640 individuals, which is approximately 10% more than the total number of people who have ever gone to space. The new spaceship (SpaceShipTwo, VSS Enterprise) and carrier craft (WhiteKnightTwo, VMS Eve) have both been developed for Virgin Galactic's vehicle fleet by Mojave-based Scaled Composites. Founded by Burt Rutan, Scaled developed SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 claimed the $10 million Ansari X Prize as the world's first privately developed manned spacecraft. Virgin Galactic's new vehicles, which will be manufactured by The Spaceship Company in Mojave, Calif., share much of the same basic design, but are being built to carry six customers, or the equivalent scientific research payload, on suborbital space flights. The vehicles will allow an out-of-the-seat, zero-gravity experience with astounding views of the planet from the black sky of space for tourist astronauts and a unique microgravity platform for researchers. The VSS Enterprise and VMS Eve test flight program is well under way, leading to Virgin Galactic commercial operations, which will be based at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

About Virgin Unite (http://www.virginunite.com)
Virgin Unite is the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group. We unite people and entrepreneurial ideas to reinvent how we live and work in the world to help make people’s lives better. Our aim is to do our bit to revolutionize the way businesses, government and the social sector work together – driving business as a force for good. We also incubate new, independent approaches to leadership including the Elders, the Carbon War Room, the Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship, and the B Team. Virgin Unite’s overheads are covered by Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, meaning that 100% of donations received go direct to the frontline where they are needed most. Join us at http://www.virginunite.com , follow us @virginunite and like us at facebook/virginunite.

About PlayLab (http://www.playlab.co)
PlayLab is an Advanced Skill Development company whose mission is to create confident innovators through experiential learning. PlayLab provides project kits and workshops that are play-based, hands-on experiences to children, which helps develop creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and communication skills as well as entrepreneurship through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math).

If you would like more information, please contact Mohan Nadarajah.

X PRIZE and Eggs PRIZE are the registered trademarks of X PRIZE foundation.

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Mohan Nadarajah
@PlayLabOnline
since: 10/2012
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