The CLARS observatory on Mt. Wilson in southern California's San Gabriel Mountains.

Teachers are learning how to take control of a telescope located high above Los Angeles. They will learn how to operate the telescope using the Internet and how to download bountiful images of far out galaxies right to their classroom computers.

The Telescopes In Education program, managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., is sponsoring the two-day workshop on Aug. 17 and 18 for more than 15 teachers. The program aims to give educators and students access to research-quality telescopes and charge-coupled device cameras created at JPL and located at the Mount Wilson Observatory.

"We realize many people live in remote areas and that visits to observatories by schools are sometimes not feasible," said Gilbert Clark, program manger. "We wanted to bring science and astronomy home. That means giving teachers the access and the ability to remotely operate a telescope from the comforts of their classroom."

Educators and students can reserve observation time lasting from one hour to all night for any evening of the week. Special observation times or long-term, repetitive observing runs require special arrangement.

In the 1999-2000 school year, the program enabled more than 10,850 students nationwide from kindergarten through high school, to conduct astronomical observations and meaningful research. Over the last nine years, the Telescopes In Education program has created a legacy of students who have learned science through this program of hands-on astronomy.

Telescopes In Education is a NASA education outreach program sponsored by NASA's High Performance Computing and Communications Learning Technologies Program, the Office of Space Science and the Office of Human Resources and Education. JPL space exploration missions, businesses and numerous volunteers also support the program. Managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology, JPL is the lead U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system.

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