||2001 News Releases
Native American Educators Go Back to School at NASA
June 20, 2001
A group of 17 elementary and secondary school teachers from Native American reservations in
New Mexico and Arizona are learning about some of NASA's most exciting missions. During a two-
week educational workshop ending June 22, teachers from four different school districts are learning
how to involve their students in the wonders of space exploration while preserving and celebrating their
rich Native American traditions. Participating schools are:
Wallace Elementary, Parker, Arizona
Santa Clara Day School, Espaņola, New Mexico
San Juan Elementary, San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico
San Felipe Pueblo Elementary, San Felipe, New Mexico
The workshop, hosted by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., at the JPL
Educator Resource Center in Pomona, Calif., brings together two different worlds that view the stars
differently. For one, the stars are a source of spiritual guidance, and for the other they are a means to
learn more about age-old questions such as "Where did we come from?" and "Are we alone?"
"Our role is to help these teachers come up with a plan that they can take back to their
classroom," said Gene Vosicky, administrator for the JPL Educator Resource Center. "The plan takes
into consideration all of their needs. Together, we work to answer questions and figure out ways to
incorporate space science and technology into their curriculum."
The primary goal of the workshop is to develop an action plan that supports standards-based
teaching and learning in mathematics, science, technology and geography. Scientists, educators and
engineers from JPL serve as guest speakers. Tours of a botanical garden, an observatory and NASA
Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., are also part of the workshop.
The program is part of a NASA Educational Workshop aimed at providing educators with an
opportunity to observe NASA's state-of-the-art research and development through direct interaction with
NASA scientists, engineers, technicians, and educational specialists at NASA centers. Locally,
educators from elementary through college levels receive assistance and resources on America's space
program at the NASA/JPL Educator Resource Center. They also see first-hand a model state-of-the-art
classroom complete with rotating stations that can be integrated into a science curriculum back in their
own classrooms. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Contacts: Rosemary Sullivant (818) 354-0474
JPL Media Relations Office