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Toy and game firm McNeill Designs signs Space Act Agreement with NASA to create space exploration game

June 11, 2009

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently announced the signing of a Space Act Agreement with the toy and game manufacturer McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds. McNeill Designs is slated to create an educational, space-themed NASA Add-On Deck (FASTAD Fiftieth Anniversary Space Terminology Add-On Deck) for their wildly popular  word game You’ve been Sentenced!™

“NASA’s mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research,” explains McNeill Designs’ President Martin Uniacke. “We feel strongly that the NASA Add-On Deck’s content will present space terminology to students in  an interesting way, while promoting greater interest and understanding of NASA and its rich history.”

The NASA Add-On Deck  increases the use and understanding of the language of NASA and space terminology in a fun, competitive manner using the platform of You’ve been Sentenced!™ which helps teach sentence construction, grammar and memory. In addition, word definitions or bios of terms and individuals will be available on both the NASA and McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds websites, so that children and parents can learn about space exploration and NASA together.

Gregg Buckingham, Chief, Education Programs and University Research Division at Kennedy says, “As part of our 50th anniversary celebration, this is an informal and fun venue to educate folks on American’s space program, past and present.”

McNeill Designs’ CEO and inventor of You’ve been Sentenced!™ Donald McNeill has a very personal reason for his enthusiasm in promoting interest in the space program. As a child in the 1960′ and 1970’s, McNeill grew up in El Lago Keys Estates Houston, Texas — home to many of the pioneers of NASA’s space program. In fact, the first man on the moon Neil Armstrong (Gemini 8, Apollo 11) lived just up the street, neighbor Ron Evans (Apollo 17) lived a block away, and Fred Haise (Apollo 13) was quite literally just next door.

The “space culture” of the era and friendship with these national heroes made a permanent impression on the entire McNeill family. McNeill’s older brother Kevin Lee McNeill, Co-author of the NASA Add-On Deck, was also profoundly influenced during his youth by close contact with these NASA legends. Kevin has spent the majority of his professional life with Lockheed Martin and most recently was the Program Manager for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) which launched successfully in August 2005 and continues to deliver amazing images of the Red planet. These brothers share a lifelong passion for space exploration and are eager to share this enthusiasm with children and families nationwide.

“The NASA Add-On Deck will contain words used in space exploration, using the You’ve been Sentenced!™ word game as a fun and memorable way to deliver and understand these terms and data,” says Kevin McNeill. “The NASA Add-on Deck will also contain names of past and future astronauts that will help teach the history and future of NASA to children in grades 5 – 9.”

Want to learn more about McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds’ award-winning games like You’ve been Sentenced!Twisted Fish and more? Visit McNeill Designs for game rulesprintable score sheets, or even order online!


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