Students using a reconfigured NASA antenna for radio astronomy experiments via the Internet can now enjoy a faster onramp onto the information highway, thanks to a unique partnership announced today.
The Lewis Center for Educational Research, Apple Valley, Calif., has partnered with LOMAC Information Systems, Mountain States Communication (both headquartered in Victorville, Calif.) and Lucent Technologies of Murray Hill, N.J., to provide a high- speed wireless Internet link for the Goldstone-Apple Valley Radio Telescope program.
This program is an educational partnership between the Lewis Center, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASA's Deep Space Network that enables middle school and high school students around the country to take control of a radio telescope at the Deep Space Network's facility at Goldstone, Calif. Students operate the antenna from computers in their classrooms to perform real scientific research, using curriculum developed by Lewis Center staff and JPL scientists and engineers. The Deep Space Network is a worldwide system of ground stations used to communicate with spacecraft and conduct radar and radio astronomy studies.
"We have developed a sophisticated educational tool that gives students everywhere the chance to participate in real science," said Lewis Center Director of Technology Jim Roller. "Until now, we've had to share access to the Internet with many other schools in the county and faced slowdowns that stalled our system. We're extremely pleased with this solution."
Lucent will provide new hardware for a 10 megabit-per-second microwave connection between the Lewis Center and Mountain States Communication. Mountain States will provide dedicated Internet connectivity for clear access to the Internet. LOMAC Information Systems will provide all installation and system maintenance services for the new connection.
"As a NASA laboratory, JPL is committed to giving students the opportunity to experience the real world of science and the thrill of discovery," explained Dr. Michael Klein, manager of the Deep Space Network Science Office at JPL. "It's very gratifying to have local and national businesses join us to promote scientific literacy in American schoolchildren. We hope that all the students gain a real appreciation for what science is and an understanding that everyone can participate."
The Goldstone-Apple Valley Radio Telescope program was founded in 1996, when JPL, the Lewis Center and the Apple Valley Unified School District agreed to work together to develop a curriculum-based educational program that uses a radio telescope at Goldstone. Since the program began, 24 teachers and more than 2,000 students in six states have participated. To date, all teachers have been trained at the Lewis Center, but starting this July 24, middle and high school teachers will also be trained in a week-long course at Auburn University in Alabama.
The Lewis Center was founded in 1990 as a science and educational resource for students, teachers and community members throughout the region. For further details, visit www.avstc.org or call (760) 242-3514.
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