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03-076
For Release: November 10, 2003

Sallie A. Keith
Media Relations Office
216-433-5795
sallie.keith@nasa.gov

NASA Explorer School Blasts Off in Michigan

Educators, students and families in Southfield, Mich., now have the opportunity to participate in engaging NASA learning adventures and scientific challenges, which will build on the excitement of NASA research, discoveries and missions.

NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, will join Southfield Public Schools in celebrating their selection as a NASA Explorer School at a kickoff event on Wednesday, Nov. 12. The kickoff will take place in the Southfield High School auditorium from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The NASA Mobile Aerospace Education Laboratory will be available for a tour. Southfield High School, in partnering with Glenn Levey Middle School and Morris Adler Elementary School, all in Southfield, Mich., was one of 50 school teams selected by NASA to participate in its new Explorer Schools' Program.

Among the dignitaries expected to attend the event are The Honorable Sander Levin, 12th Congressional District; The Honorable Brenda Lawrence, Mayor, City of Southfield; and Kathleen Straus, President, Michigan State Board of Education. Representing NASA will be Peggy L. Steffen, NASA Explorer Schools Program Manager and Jo Ann Charleston, chief of Glenn's Educational Programs Office.

"We now have the opportunity to work with educators and parents to increase the scientific and technological literacy of our young people," said Charleston. "The benefits, to NASA, the Nation and the world, of inspiring students to pursue careers in science, technology and engineering cannot be overstated."

Explorer School teams made up of teachers and education administrators work with NASA personnel and other educational partners to develop and implement strategic plans. These plans outline ways to bring exciting opportunities to educators, students and families through sustained professional development, exciting student learning opportunities, integration of technology and parental involvement. The strategic plan designed by each team promotes the use of NASA content and programs that address the team's local needs in mathematics, science and technology.

Members of the Southfield team participated in a one-week workshop at Glenn in July. They received innovative ideas, new teaching resources and technology tools that utilized NASA's unique content and experts to make learning science, mathematics, geography and technology more appealing to students.

"Working with NASA has been a dream come true," said Michael Terrell, Southfield's team lead. "They have the ultimate resources. Having access to those resources allows us to engage our students on a whole new level."

Each year, the NASA Explorer Schools Program establishes a three-year partnership between NASA and 50 school teams from diverse communities across the country. Teams chosen in 2003, the first year of the new Explorer Schools Program, represent 30 states nationwide. Southfield School's team was the only team chosen in the state of Michigan.

The deadline for applications to participate in the 2004 NASA Explorer Schools Program is January 30, 2004. More information on the NASA Explorer Schools Program can be found by accessing http://explorerschools.nasa.gov

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