Dr. Ronald E. McNair

The Dr. Ronald E. McNair Educational (DREME) Science Literacy Foundation honors the life and legacy of the late Dr. Ronald E. McNair. Dr. McNair was born of meager conditions in Lake City, South Carolina. He became valedictorian of his high school class and overcame various obstacles to achieve a B.S. in Physics from North Carolina A&T State University, and a Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, positions as a research physicist at Hughes Research Laboratory in Malibu, California, and a mission specialist astronaut for NASA, in 1978.

Dr. McNair completed his first space flight in 1984 and became the first astronaut to operate a man in space on the platform of the remote manipulator arm of the space shuttle. He was also responsible for various experiments and science related activities while onboard the space shuttle. Dr. McNair was so excited about having achieved this goal, that he talked to students in many schools across the nation, hoping to inspire them to accomplish their goals. Dr. McNair perished in 1986, onboard the ill-fated space shuttle Challenger, but his dream continues thru the foundation.

An outstanding leader and motivator, Dr. McNair’s life long commitment was to inspire and encourage young people to dream big, and work with diligence and excellence to accomplish their goals. He also urged them to offer care and assistance to their fellow man and to make their community as well as the world, a better place in which to live.

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