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Dwayne Brown/Renee Juhans
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1726/1712)
Dec. 8, 2004
 
RELEASE : 04-387
 
 
NASA Explorer School Concept Goes International
 
 
A NASA education initiative designed to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning and activities to U.S. educators, students and families is going abroad to the Netherlands.

NASA's Chief Education Officer, Dr. Adena Williams Loston, today signed an Understanding among NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, establishing the Delta Researchers Schools (DRS) Program. An Understanding is a written document regarding mutual educational cooperation.

Patterned after the NASA Explorer School (NES) Program, the DRS Program will identify and develop innovative methods to inspire Dutch primary school students to pursue careers in mathematics and science. The program will focus on stimulating the interest of children -- girls in particular -- between the ages of 9 and 12. It also will generate positive awareness of human space flight, the International Space Station and other international cooperative projects. The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science initially will launch, manage and fund activities for selected schools for three-year periods.

The program's name derives from the ESA Delta Mission, which was conducted as part of the International Space Station/Soyuz crew-exchange missions flown in April. Dutch/ESA Astronaut André Kuipers carried out the Delta Mission under a commercial arrangement between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency.

"This understanding builds on existing collaborations to strengthen and expand educational cooperation among the Netherlands, ESA and NASA, using NASA's extremely successful Explorer Schools Program as a model," Loston said. "Considering the importance of education and the excitement and unique activities the Vision for U.S. Space Exploration will provide, this program personifies NASA's commitment to foster learning to inspire students to understand and protect our home planet, seize opportunities to venture to the moon, Mars and new worlds beyond," she said.

"The Delta Researchers Schools initiative will undoubtedly strengthen NASA's ties with the Netherlands and the broader European community now and in the future," said Clifford Sobel, U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands.

As part of the cooperation, NASA will provide opportunities for Dutch teachers to participate in summer NES workshops at NASA centers. Teachers will acquire new resources and technology tools using NASA's unique content. NES officials will be available for content consultation and to coordinate distance-learning capabilities to support the DRS Program. One ham-radio opportunity will be scheduled each year for Dutch students to talk with the Earth-orbiting Space Station crew.

NASA's NES Program provided more than 70,000 U.S. elementary, middle and high school students' information and interactive activities on future careers, to pursue the fulfillment of the Vision for U.S. Space Exploration.

The NES Program is a three-year partnership between NASA and selected schools that offer opportunities and materials for teachers to spark student interest in science and math. Students, parents, teachers and education administrators from diverse communities in 46 states and the District of Columbia have participated.

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 beyond.

To view the NES Program on the Internet, visit:

http://explorerschools.nasa.gov

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

http://education.nasa.gov

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

For ESA information on the Web, visit:

http://www.esa.int

 

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