NASA Explorer Schools Program Takes Off
NASA launched a major new education initiative this week when the NASA Explorer Schools Program premiered at the 2003 National Educating Computer Conference in Seattle.

The multimedia event kicked off an innovative program that will invite science and mathematics teachers "back to school" during the summer at NASA Centers. NASA experts, materials, and other resources will be available to help educators acquire new teaching tools to make science, mathematics and technology more appealing to students.

The new initiative is sponsored by NASA's Education Enterprise in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association. It establishes a three-year partnership between the agency and 50 NASA Explorer Schools' teams, consisting of teachers and education administrators from diverse communities across the country. The 50 competitively selected school teams represent 30 states. Eighty percent of the schools are located in high poverty areas, with 75 percent representing predominantly minority communities. Of the 50 school teams, 58 percent are located in both high poverty and high minority districts.

"NASA's mission is to inspire the next generation of explorers by helping to make learning science and math more fun," said Dr. Adena Williams Loston, NASA's associate administrator for education. "The NASA Explorer Schools Program will provide us with yet another promising avenue to positively and uniquely impact science and math instruction in the nation's classrooms as only NASA can."

Schools selected in the Southern California area include: Washington Middle School, Pasadena; Colton Joint Unified School, Colton; Shirley Avenue Elementary, Reseda; 153rd Street Elementary School, Gardena; Gifford C. Cole Middle School, Lancaster; Edwards Middle School, Edwards; and Kennedy Elementary School in San Diego.

A complete list of NASA's first 50 Explorer Schools is available at http://explorerschools.nasa.gov. More information is available at http://education.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov. Information about the National Science Teachers Association is at http://www.nsta.org.

JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. For more information about JPL on the Internet, visit http://www.jpl.nasa.gov.

Media Contact

JPL/Nancy Lovato (818) 354-9382
Gretchen Cook-Anderson (202) 358-0836
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

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