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Feb. 23, 2000

John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Phone: 650/604-5026 or 650/604-9000



NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: You are invited to attend JASON Project XI: "Going to Extremes," a series of live one-hour satellite telecasts, Feb. 28, through March l0, in the Main Auditorium, Bldg. N-201, at NASA Ames Research Center, in California’s Silicon Valley. A variety of "NASA Expo" hands-on student activities will be held in Hangar 1. Each day, broadcasts start at 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., PST. There will be no JASON activities on March 5. To reach Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off Highway 101, drive east to the main gate at Moffett Federal Airfield, and report to the Visitor Badging office for vehicle passes and directions to the Main Auditorium and Hangar 1. U.S. media representatives must present valid press credentials or photo ID to enter Ames. Foreign media will not be admitted without NASA escort and must be cleared for entry.


Organizers expect more than 10,000 San Francisco Bay Area students to visit NASA Ames Research Center, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, Feb. 28 through March 10, to talk via satellite with astronauts and scientists as part of JASON Project XI: "Going to Extremes." Also, a "NASA Expo" in historic Hangar 1 at Ames will include many hands-on activities for the students and some 2,000 teachers and chaperones from more than 100 local schools.

Fifty-five one-hour satellite telecasts will link students with International Space Station astronauts at Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, and Aquarius Underwater Laboratory scientists in the Florida Keys.

"The JASON Project is a rare and exciting opportunity for students to launch into the history of discovery . . . to reflect upon the achievements of the past in an effort to contribute to the knowledge of the future," said NASA Astronaut Jerry Linenger.

"Students will engage with world-class scientists, having thoroughly prepared to do so in their classrooms," said Thomas Clausen, education officer at Ames. "The JASON Project is a demonstration of what happens when you combine a well thought out curriculum with modern communication technology; it opens students' eyes to new possibilities," he said.

"This is a chance for students to leave the structure of the classroom to study how real research is done," said retired science teacher John Colombero, Ames’ JASON Project Coordinator.

During the broadcasts, students from grades 3 through 9 will be able to chat with sea and space experts and "Argonaut" students. Argonauts are the students and teachers selected by the JASON Project to travel to the JASON expedition sites. Ames is one of 36 JASON "primary interactive network sites" located across the nation and in Bermuda, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Worldwide, JASON officials expect about 750,000 students to participate in the program. Millions of other youths will also take part through the Internet at: The JASON Internet site includes, "chat sessions" with scientists, a digital lab that provides experiments students can do on-line and other information.

Two Bay Area students are JASON "Argonauts" and will take part in the broadcasts from Florida and Texas. Diver Whitney Brown, 15, of Castilleja School, Palo Alto, CA, will be stationed in Aquarius, the world's only underwater laboratory, during the first week of JASON broadcasts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration owns Aquarius, which is operated by the National Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

Ninth grader Kathrina Manalac, of Notre Dame High School, Belmont, CA, will be at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, during the second week of JASON broadcasts. Reporters may call the JASON Project press office at 703/276-2772 to arrange telephone interviews with the two students in March. JASON will also arrange TV satellite interviews with the students to take place on March 1 and March 8 following the last JASON broadcast each day, after 2 p.m. PST. Feb. 28 and March 6, JASON will feed two satellite TV news packages. Call the JASON press office for satellite interview times.

In Hangar 1, students will compete in glider contests and other action activities, get hands-on experience with space hardware and learn about undersea operations throughout the 10-day JASON project. Students also will interview scientists during "Ask an Astrobiologist" program that is similar to TV game shows. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and destiny of life in the universe. The expo includes programs that repeat daily during JASON from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During relay race-like activities at NASA Expo, students will take "spacewalks to refuel a space shuttle" in outfits designed to help youths understand the difficulties of working in space. Students who attend a computer lab will be able to test a NASA-developed "Astroventure" computer program that simulates the search for habitable planets. There will also be a display of robots constructed by local high school students.

Founded by international explorer and RMS Titanic-discoverer Dr. Robert Ballard, the JASON Project incorporates cutting-edge technologies, a multidisciplinary curriculum, professional training for teachers and Internet communications into a comprehensive learning program.



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