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Jonas Dino
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650/604-5612 650/207-3280

Jan. 25, 2005
NASA to Share Exploration Vision with Hawaii Explorer Schools
Media Advisory: News media representatives are invited to the cover the NASA Explorer School (NES) events at the Waimea Middle School in Kamuela, on Monday Jan. 31, and Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Lihue, on Tuesday Feb 1, 2005. NASA's Chief Education Officer, Dr. Adena Williams Loston, will share NASA's excitement and plans for the Vision for Space Exploration with the students and staff. Joining Loston in Kamuela, will be astronaut Michael Fincke and in Lihue, astronaut Richard Linnehan. Both schools will have two assemblies with the NASA and NES officials available for interviews after the first assembly. The first Waimea assembly will run from 8:25 to 10:00 a.m. HST. The first Kamakahelei assembly will run from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. HST. Please call Jonas Dino at 650/207-3280 for a full schedule of events, to request a phone interview or confirm attendance.

NASA's Chief Education Officer, Dr. Adena Williams Loston, will share NASA's excitement and plans for the Vision for Space Exploration with Hawaii's two NASA Explorer Schools (NES).

On Monday Jan. 31, 2005, Loston and Expedition 9 astronaut Michael Fincke will visit Waimea Middle School in Kamuela. On Feb 1, 2005, astronaut Richard Linnehan, a veteran of three shuttle missions, will join Loston at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Lihue. With the theme of 'There is a place for me at NASA,' Loston and the astronauts will discuss the Vision for Space Exploration and how the students will play a large part in making the vision a reality.

"This is an exciting time for our nation's students with the impending return of the Space Shuttle to flight and the vision to explore the Moon, Mars and Beyond." said Loston. "NASA is committed to working with the educational community to engage and inspire students through the NASA Explorer Schools Program and other NASA educational initiatives."

Waimea Middle School and Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School we among the first 50 NASA Explorer Schools selected in 2003. During their first year as Explorer Schools, students and school staff have participated in numerous NASA inspired enrichment activities, including a downlink from the International Space Station (ISS), visits from NASA Aerospace Education Specialists, teacher workshops and NES student design challenges. The three-year partnership is designed to give students the foundation and inspiration to pursue careers in science, mathematics and technology using NASA's unique capabilities.

"The students and staff of Waimea Middle School are excited to have Dr. Loston and Micheal Fincke visit our school," said Jade Bowman, Waimea NES team lead. "It will be an experience that will serve to motivate and inspire well into the future, while helping us further our school vision: a place of infinite possibilities."

"The NES team had a successful first year opening the NASA window for our students and staff," said Melissa Speetsjen, Kamakahelei NES team lead. "We are honored and privileged to have Dr. Loston and astronaut Richard Linnehan visit our school and look forward to strengthening a partnership with NASA that will extend past the program's three years."

Loston is a veteran educator with more than 30 years of experience in higher education. She holds a master's and doctorate in philosophy and has served in various educational positions, including president of San Jacinto College South in Houston and dean of professional program and dean of vocational education. In 2002, Loston assumed her duties as NASA's top educator and oversees NASA's efforts to organize and enhance the agency's education programs. Loston's service has been recognized with numerous NASA and educational awards.

Fincke recently completed 187 days in orbit onboard the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Expedition 9 crew. Fincke participated in four spacewalks logging more than 15 hours of extra vehicular activity (EVA) time.

Linnehan has flown three times as a mission specialist on STS-78 in 1996, as the payload commander on the STS-90 in 1998 and as a member of the 4-man EVA crew on STS-109, in 1992. He has logged over 43 days in space, including more than 21 hours of EVA time.
For more information about the NASA Explorer Schools Program, visit:

For more information about NASA Education, visit:

For a complete biography of Dr. Adena Williams Loston, visit

For complete biographies of astronauts Michael Fincke and Richard Linnehan, visit:


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