JPL Announces New Explorer School Partnerships
NASA today announced the selection of 50 new Explorer Schools,
including five from Southern California that will be partnered
with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. NASA
Explorer Schools are the heart of a unique educational program
that reaches elementary to high- school pupils in all 50 states,
Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
Image right: JPL education specialist Art Hammon gives students a lesson on technology using a remote control rover. Image credit: NASA/JPL.
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The five Southern California schools selected to partner with JPL
are: 96th Street Elementary and Florence Griffin Joyner
Elementary in Los Angeles; Charles Kranz Intermediate in El
Monte; Village Academy High in Pomona; Nestle Avenue Elementary
in Tarzana and Columbia Elementary in Perris. They join nine
other schools that are already partnered with JPL.
Since its inauguration in 2003, the Explorer School program has
established three-year partnerships annually with 50 schools. The
program partners NASA centers with school teams composed of
students, teachers and administrators serving grades four through
nine, from diverse communities across the country. Schools in the
program are eligible to receive grants up to $17,500 over the
three-year period to support student engagement in science and
"NASA will need a robust workforce to carry out the Vision for
Space Exploration. The Explorer School program looks to fulfill
the vision by inspiring the next generation of explorers," said
NASA's Chief Education Officer, Dr. Adena Williams Loston. "The
program provides the opportunity to explore, discover and
understand through educational activities. It includes fun,
challenging adventures tailored to promote learning and studying
science, mathematics, engineering and technology," she said.
During the three-year partnership, NASA Explorer School teams
work with agency personnel and other partners to develop and
implement strategic plans for staff and students. The plans
promote and support the use of NASA content and programs to
address the teams' local needs in mathematics, science, and
Students have access to unique NASA resources and materials to
help them learn about agency careers in mathematics, science,
engineering, and technology.
Each summer local teachers participate in one-week professional
development workshops at JPL. They also receive $500 stipends for
both summer and school year activities. The Explorer School
program also reaches out to the students' families and
communities by providing access to interactive NASA learning
adventures on the Internet and other special opportunities.
"We're excited about the expansion of the program and the
addition of these five new school teams," said David Seidel,
Explorer School manager at JPL. "The next three years represent a
lot of opportunity for both the schools and JPL."
Eighty-seven percent of all NASA Explorer Schools are in high
poverty areas, and 76 percent represent predominantly minority
communities. Ninety-eight percent of the 2005 class is in high
poverty areas, and 82 percent in predominantly minority
communities; 19 are in Hispanic communities.
The Vision for U.S. Space Exploration is a bold new course into
the cosmos, a journey that will return the Space Shuttle safely
to flight, complete the construction of the International Space
Station, take humans back to the Moon and eventually to Mars and
"Perhaps someone from a NASA Explorer School will be the first to
walk on Mars," Loston said.
For a list of the Explorer Schools on the Internet, visit:
For more information about JPL Education Programs on the
Internet, visit: http://education.jpl.nasa.gov
To see a photo slide show of JPL's Explorer Schools visit:
For information about NASA Education programs on the Internet,
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet,
Natalie Godwin (818) 354-0850
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Dwayne Brown (202) 358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC