Kennedy News

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Amber Marek
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

05.25.05
 
RELEASE : 43-05
 
 
NASA Selects Florida and Puerto Rico Schools for Explorer Program
 
 
NASA recently announced schools selected from Kennedy Space Center's district area, which includes Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico, are among the next 50 schools to participate in the 2005 NASA Explorer Schools Program. The NASA Explorer Schools (NES) are the heart of a unique educational program that reaches elementary through high school students in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

These schools include Warrington Middle School in Pensacola, Fla.; Howard Middle School in Orlando, Fla.; South Plantation High School in Plantation, Fla.; Goldsboro Elementary Magnet School in Sanford, Fla.; and Marcelino Canino Canino Middle School in Dorado, Puerto Rico.

"We look forward to working with the new schools and continuing our relationship with our existing Explorer Schools," said KSC Education Director Gregg Buckingham. "Our focal path this year will be to activate our Digital Learning Network so we can communicate electronically with all 16 of our NASA Explorer Schools."

The program debuted June 30, 2003. It sends science and mathematics teachers "back to school" at NASA Centers during the summer to acquire new teaching resources and technology tools using NASA's unique content, experts and other resources. The goal is to make learning science, mathematics and technology more appealing to students.

"NASA will need a robust work force 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 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."

The NASA Explorer School Program is one of four major Agency educational initiatives. Since its inauguration in 2003, the NES Program has established three-year partnerships annually with 50 schools. The partnerships include students, teachers and education administrators serving grades four through nine, from diverse communities across the country. Schools in the program are eligible to receive grants of up to $17,500 over the three-year period to support student engagement in science and mathematics.

Eighty-seven percent of all NASA Explorer Schools are in high-poverty areas, and 76 percent represent predominantly minority resident communities. Ninety-eight percent of the 2005 class is in high-poverty areas, and 82 percent is in predominantly minority resident communities; 19 are in Hispanic communities.

"Perhaps someone in a NASA Explorer School will be the first to walk on Mars," Loston said.

For a list of NASA Explorer Schools on the Internet, visit:

http://explorerschools.nasa.gov

For information about NASA education programs on the Internet, visit:

http://education.nasa.gov

 

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