May 12, 2004
NASA Selects New Explorer Schools
NASA has selected 50 new Explorer Schools, representing 34 states. The Explorer Schools Program is a major NASA education effort to inspire the next generation of explorers that may one day venture to the moon, Mars and beyond.
The education initiative was launched on June 30, 2003. The program sends science and mathematics teachers "back to school" at NASA centers during the summer to acquire new resources and technology tools. The program uses NASA's unique content, experts and resources to make learning science, mathematics and technology more appealing to students.
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, Associate Administrator for Education Dr. Adena Loston, astronauts, students and teachers participated in today's announcement.
"Students in classrooms today are the space explorers of tomorrow. Their future role is vital to keeping our nation's technological and space exploration goals a reality," said Administrator O'Keefe. "We commit ourselves to working closely with our nation's schools to foster learning environments that will inspire young people to understand and protect our home planet, explore the universe and search for life."
The announcement completed a week of activities that included workshops and tours of NASA's Kennedy Space Center for students and educators attending the 2004 Leadership Institute/2003 NASA Explorer Schools Student Symposium in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
The Explorer Schools Program is sponsored by NASA's Education Enterprise in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association. The program establishes a three-year partnership between NASA and the 50 Explorer Schools teams each spring. The teams of teachers and education administrators represent many diverse communities.
During the commitment period, NASA education specialists and scientists provide investigation opportunities and professional development for the teams to spark innovative science and mathematics instruction directed specifically at students in grades four through nine.
"NASA's mission is to inspire the next generation of explorers by helping to make learning science and mathematics more fun," Loston said. "The NASA Explorer Schools Program provides a promising avenue to positively and uniquely impact science and math instruction in our nation's classrooms."
Eighty percent of the 2004 Explorer Schools are located in high poverty areas, and 74 percent represent predominantly minority communities. Sixty percent of the competitively selected school teams are represented in both high poverty and high minority populations.
For a list of the Explorer Schools on the Internet, visit:
For information about NASA Education programs on the Internet, visit:
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:
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