May 14, 2007
NASA has announced that Theodore Roosevelt Middle School, Glendale, Calif.; and Ellen Ochoa Learning Center, Cudahy, Calif., have been selected to begin a special three-year partnership with the space agency as NASA Explorer Schools.
The school teams are among 25 schools around the nation named as new NASA Explorer Schools. The goal of NASA's Explorer School program is to use NASA's unique missions to inspire student learning in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and geography.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., will administer the NASA Explorer Schools partnerships with the two new local schools, expanding to 17 the number of Southern California schools with whom JPL is partnering under the program. JPL representatives will help kick off the program with presentations at each school during the coming school year.
"This program enables schools and their communities to partner with NASA to develop the nation's future science, technology, engineering and mathematics work force," said NASA Explorer School Program Manager Rob Lasalvia. "It is today's students who will help make the nation's vision of sending humans back to the moon, then on to Mars and beyond a reality."
To begin the formal partnership, a team of educators and administrators from the two new local schools will attend an all-expense-paid, one-week professional development workshop July 15 through 20 at JPL. Each school team will develop a strategic plan to address its students' needs in mathematics, science and technology education. Schools may also apply for technology grants of up to $17,500 over the three-year period to help implement their plans.
The NASA Explorer School program began in 2003 in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association. The program targets schools in grades four through nine. There are now 200 teams in the program, representing 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
With this program, NASA continues its tradition of investing in the nation's education programs. It is directly tied to the agency's major education goal of attracting and retaining students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. To compete effectively for the minds, imaginations and career ambitions of America's young people, NASA is focused encouraging students' pursuit of educational disciplines critical to NASA's future engineering, science and technical missions.
For more information about the NASA Explorer Schools program, visit: http://www.explorerschools.nasa.gov .
For more information about JPL education programs, visit: http://education.jpl.nasa.gov . To see a photo slide show of JPL's Explorer Schools, visit: http://education.jpl.nasa.gov/features-slide.html .
JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Media contact: Alan Buis 818-354-0474
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.