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Jonas Dino
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: (650) 604-5612 / 9000

May 16, 2006
NASA Selects Hawaiian Elementary School for Explorer School Team
NASA recently welcomed 26 new NASA Explorer Schools including an elementary school in Hawaii to its program designed to inspire students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Pearl City Elementary School in Pearl City, Hawaii, will officially begin the NASA Explorer School (NES) program in the fall for the 2006-2007 academic year. Pearl City joins 16 Explorer School teams in the western United States partnered with NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., for the program.

"We are ecstatic to be selected as Hawaii's representative to NASA's Explorer Schools program for the upcoming three school years," said Dr. Susan Hirokane, principal at Pearl City Elementary School. "With the support of this NASA grant, together with the expertise and guidance from the NASA scientists, our students will gain knowledge and inquiry skills in science, math and geography."

An important goal of NASA's elementary and secondary programs is to attract and retain students in science and technical fields through a progression of educational opportunities for students, teachers and administrators. NASA's 150 Explorer Schools teams, which come primarily from minority and under-represented communities, represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Selected schools are eligible to receive up to $17,500 during the three-year partnership to develop their Explorer School program and acquire technology including equipment for the program’s Digital Learning Network. The program also provides educators and students with content-specific activities that will augment their existing science and math curriculum.

Pearl City Elementary serves approximately 580 students from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade and is located north of Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu. The school has integrated technology support for core subject areas and looks forward to continuing this effort during its three years as an Explorer School. Pearl City has hosted the Art Kimura Future Flight Hawaii's Space Exploration Science FESTival (Families Exploring Science Together) and plans to have a sequel festival in July at its summer school.

The school NES team is comprised of Hirokane, team lead Traci Tanouye, and teachers Astrid deVega, Marty Sepkowski and Gary Ginoza. The team will travel to NASA Ames in July for NES orientation and staff development.

The NASA Explorer Schools program was chosen as one of the "Top Innovations in American Government Awards for 2006" by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

For a list of the NASA Explorer Schools and additional information, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:


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