Educator News

San Jose Elementary Students to Get Taste of Space Exploration
09.23.04
Jonas Dino
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650/604-5612 or 650/207-3280
E-mail: jonas.dino@nasa.gov

Note to Editors: 04-90AR

Students at San Jose's Toyon Elementary School will learn from G. Scott Hubbard, director of NASA Ames Research Center, located in California's Silicon Valley, and astronaut Marsha Ivins about the Vision for Space Exploration and how they can be an integral part of making it a reality. The theme of the Sept. 30 visit with the next generation of explorers is 'There is a Place for Me at NASA.' News media representatives are invited to cover the event.

Date: Thursday, Sept. 30, 2004
Schedule:
8:45 a.m. PDT, Welcome Remarks
8:48 a.m. PDT, NASA Explorer School Presentation
10:25 a.m. PDT, Media Opportunity
11:05 a.m. PDT, Lunch with an Astronaut
5:30 p.m. PDT, Back-to-School BBQ
Who: NASA Ames Director G. Scott Hubbard and astronaut Marsha Ivins
Where: Toyon Elementary School, 995 Bard St, San Jose, Calif.

"As NASA moves forward to carry out the Vision for Space Exploration, it is essential that we excite students about the thrilling opportunities that are opening up for them," said Hubbard. "NASA is committed to working in partnership with our schools to create exciting new learning environments. America has always been a nation of explorers, but we can't possibly turn the space exploration vision into reality without the enthusiastic involvement of our young people."

The NASA Explorer School program provides opportunities for schools, administrators, students and their families to partner with NASA to improve student learning; participate in authentic experiences with NASA science and technology; apply NASA science, mathematics and technology knowledge to real-world issues and problems; and participate in special events and other opportunities.

"Being named a NASA Explorer school is such a great honor and opportunity for students, parents and staff in the Toyon community," said Deborah Washington, principal of Toyon Elementary School. "Our students will have their learning enhanced and extended far beyond my expectations as students of science, math and technology. When you speak of science, my students will know so much more than what other elementary students in northern California will know, because of this partnership with NASA," she added.

Hubbard served as NASA's first Mars exploration program director and as a key architect of NASA's Mars exploration road map. Recently, Hubbard was the sole NASA representative on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, which determined the cause of the Columbia accident and cited the need for a new national space exploration vision.

Hubbard, who was named director of NASA Ames in September 2002, is known for his innovative approach to collaborations between government, academia and the private sector, particularly as embodied by the award-winning NASA Research Park development at NASA Ames. Hubbard has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, NASA's highest honor.

Astronaut Marsha Ivins started at NASA in 1974 as an engineer developing the space shuttle's heads-up display. In 1980 she was assigned as a flight engineer aboard the Shuttle Training Aircraft, used to train space shuttle pilots. Ivins joined the astronaut corps in 1984 as a mission specialist and has since amassed an impressive resume of technical assignments and space flights. She is a veteran of five space flights (STS-32 in 1990, STS-46 in 1992, STS-62 in 1994, STS-81 in 1997, and STS-98 in 2001) and has logged more than 1,318 hours in space.

Ivins was born in Baltimore, Md., and is a graduate of Nether Providence High School, Wallingford, Pa. She received her bachelor of science degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in aerospace engineering in 1973. Ivins is an avid pilot and holds many ratings, including a multi-engine airline transport pilot license as well as airplane, instrument and glider instructor ratings. She has logged more than 6,300 hours in civilian and NASA aircraft.

News media interested in attending the NASA Explorer School visit or interviewing Hubbard or Ivins in conjunction with their visit to Toyon Elementary School should contact Jonas Dino of NASA Ames at 650/604-5612 by 3:00 p.m. PDT, Wednesday, Sept. 29. All news media representatives will be required to sign in at the school's main office prior to entering the campus.

For information about the NASA Explorer Schools Program, visit:
http://explorerschools.nasa.gov

For more information about the Vision for Space Exploration, go to:
http://www.nasa.gov/missions/solarsystem/bush_vision.html

For information about NASA, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov