Mark Leon

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Mark Leon is a civil servant with NASA Ames Research Center. His primary work is in education and communication systems.

Early life[edit]

Mark Leon grew up in a rather rough East San Jose neighborhood. He originally began taking a slightly more academic route to life when he began hiding in the library from other high school students who were attempting to beat him up.[1]

He also attended San Jose State University[2] and won a silver medal in the 1985 Collegiate National Judo Championships[3] He received his Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering.

Communications Work[edit]

In the 1980s Mark Leon was instrumental in establishing trans-Atlantic communication between American, French and English space agencies. In the 1990s he completed the first audio/video link to Antarctica. This feat was thought to be impossible at that time.[4]

Affiliation with FIRST Robotics[edit]

For the past several years Mark Leon has worked as a Master of Ceremonies in many FIRST robotics competition events both on and off season. He is particularly well known for wearing a bright blue NASA coat and dying his hair the same color for these events.[5][6]

Robotics Alliance Project[edit]

Beginning in 1998 Mark moved to the Robotics Alliance Project at NASA Ames.[7] This department works primarily in educational and outreach projects and was estimated in 2006 to have reached more than 100,000 middle and high school students.[8] He also runs the Ames Robotics Academy every summer.[9]