An educators' workshop focusing on Mars, the Mars Pathfinder mission and NASA's plans for future Mars missions will be held July 2-3 at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA.

The workshop is designed for K-12 grade school teachers who are interested in learning more about the red planet and who wish to be in the hub of activities leading up to the successful landing on July 4 of NASA's Mars Pathfinder spacecraft. Caltech operates JPL, which is the home of the Mars Pathfinder mission and NASA's decade-long program of robotic exploration of Mars.

Those wishing to attend must complete an electronic application form - available on the World Wide Web at - and return it by June 6. Letters of interest also may be faxed to Dr. Cheick Diarra, fax 818-393- 2903, or mailed to Dr. Cheick Diarra at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Mail Stop T-1129, Pasadena, CA, 91109. E-mail submissions may be sent to All letters must be received no later than 5 p.m. PDT June 6.

The educators' conference will begin the evening of Wed., July 2, with an informal barbecue and get-acquainted session taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. on the Caltech campus. Scientists and members of the Mars Exploration Program at JPL will offer a program of presentations on Mars exploration and other upcoming space missions from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, July 3. Participants will be introduced to a variety of ideas for incorporating hands-on classroom learning activities during the afternoon.

A weekend of Mars-related activities, exhibits and speakers also will be taking place in Pasadena July 2-4 at the nearby Planetfest '97, sponsored by The Planetary Society. Held at the Pasadena Center, Planetfest will also feature NASA Television programming of Pathfinder's historic landing on Mars and follow the beginning of rover activities on the surface of the planet.

The Caltech conference registration fee is $25. Teachers interested in attending The Planetary Society's Planetfest '97 activities in addition to the conference will be eligible to receive the discounted $20 three-day pass to the Planetfest activities.

Caltech is located at 1200 E. California Blvd. in Pasadena. For further information about the educators' conference, contact Cheick Diarra at (818) 354-5428 or Cathy Davis at

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