Educators and community members from across the country have been selected from a field of hundreds of candidates to participate in educational training and grassroots programs sponsored by NASA's Galileo project and the Stardust comet sample return mission.
Both missions are managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA. These programs are part of ongoing JPL and NASA efforts to enhance science and math teacher training in U.S. schools, and to bring the excitement of space travel to the community level.
The Galileo project has named 55 new ambassadors and co- ambassadors to educate the public in communities across America about the Galileo Europa mission's current journey around Jupiter and its moons. The mission's main focus is on the moon Europa, which may have a liquid water ocean beneath its icy crust. The addition of the new graduates, who span the country from northeast Maine to Hawaii, brings the total number of Galileo ambassadors to 84. Each ambassador has proposed at least five community events, such as planetarium shows, museum displays and programs for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The ambassadors, primarily K-12 educators, join the recently appointed Galileo Fellows, who instruct other teachers in spreading the word about the Galileo mission. A state-by-state listing of ambassadors, hometowns, contact information and a calendar of ambassador- hosted events can be found on the Internet at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/ambassadors.
The Stardust project, which will launch a spacecraft to a comet next February, has chosen the initial 10 educators from 10 states as Stardust Fellowship winners. An additional 15 will be chosen in the fall. The educators will receive intensive training on the mission and its science. The training is designed to facilitate development of a nationwide teacher training initiative with supporting educational materials. The effort is targeted at grades 4-8 and focuses on teaching students about small solar system bodies such as comets and asteroids. Stardust's Fellows Program is part of an educational outreach partnership between the project, the Virginia-based Challenger Center for Space Science Education and Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, CO, which is assembling the Stardust spacecraft.
Information on Stardust and its Educator Fellows can be found at http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov.
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