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Laura Lewis
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650-604-2162/9000

June 28, 2006
NASA Launches New Education Initiative for Minority Students
NASA kicked off a new initiative with the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation on Wednesday. The initiative will give researchers and students from minority institutions direct access to NASA facilities, scientists and capabilities.

Funded by a $3.5 million grant from NASA, the corporation will establish the NASA Science and Technology Institute for Minority Institutions. The institute will be in the NASA Research Park at the agency's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the institute will bring together the talent and expertise of historically black colleges and universities; Hispanic-serving institutions; tribal colleges and universities; and other minority institutions through research-based fellowships, internships, co-ops and grants.

"I am truly delighted that NASA is partnering with the corporation to establish this revolutionary new institute." said Ames Director S. Pete Worden. "This joint venture will give minority students and researchers access to NASA and the opportunity to collaborate with researchers in the surrounding community of universities, high-tech research and development companies."

The goal of the initiative is to provide professional development that will prepare faculty, students, researchers, visionaries and entrepreneurs to become highly-skilled science and technology leaders and managers. The preparation will enable them to compete in the national and global workforce.

"The establishment of this institute truly demonstrates and highlights NASA's continuing commitment to promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics excellence in the minority higher education community," said Aaron R. Andrews, president and CEO of the corporation.

Officials announced the formation of the new NSTI-MI during a press conference hosted by Google Inc. at its corporate offices in Mountain View, Calif., located near NASA Ames.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to help introduce more minorities into the technology workforce, we are happy to host NASA and UNCFSP as they announce their joint initiative," said Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research for Google. "Our close proximity with the Ames Research Center will help foster strong ties with UNCFSP and its students, and we look forward to welcoming interns to Google."

The UNCFSP is a spin-off of the United Negro College Fund. Founded in April 2000, the UNCFSP is an independently established nonprofit organization with the broad mandate of serving domestic and international minority institutions.

For information about NASA education programs, visit:

For information about the corporation, call Gwen McFaden at 703-205-8138 or visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:


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