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

Staci Johnson
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-7232

Joe Santos
Sequoia Middle School, Porterville, Calif.

June 13, 2006
NASA Selects New Porterville School for Explorer School Team
NASA recently welcomed 26 new NASA Explorer Schools, including Sequoia Middle School in Porterville, Calif., to its nationwide program designed to inspire students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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

"This partnership with NASA creates exciting learning opportunities for our students, parents and staff," said Joe Santos, Sequoia principal. "The breadth and depth of this program will reach into all our classrooms, providing science, mathematics and technology explorations linking classroom concepts with hands-on learning. Together with NASA, we can fulfill our school commitment to be 'Leaders in Learning' by providing a path to success for all students while benefiting the entire community," he added.

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 126 Explorer School 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 curricula.

Opening on Aug. 14, 2006, Sequoia Middle School will begin the 2006-2007 school year with approximately 450 seventh and eighth grade students. The school has been designated the district's GATE (gifted and talented education) magnet middle school and is eligible to receive Title 1 funding. Before officially opening, the school will hold summer programs featuring 'Science Explorations', a mathematics institute, and band camp providing students and parents the opportunity to meet teachers, walk the campus and preview the school curricula.

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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