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

October 16, 2006
NASA Shares Vision for Space Exploration with Porterville Students
Astronaut Alvin Drew and Angela Phillips Diaz, a NASA senior official, will visit Sequoia Middle School, Porterville, Calif., on Oct. 19, 2006 to share NASA’s future exploration goals and their excitement about the future of space exploration.

Both will participate in a ‘launch’ event celebrating the selection of Sequoia Middle School as a NASA Explorer School (NES) in May 2006. Sequoia open its doors this fall and is the first school in the history of the program to open as a NASA Explorer School.

Diaz and Drew will participate in activities designed to excite students about the Vision for Space Exploration and their roles as the next generation of explorers. The event starts with a student assembly, where Diaz and Drew will discuss how the students can participate in the Vision by pursuing studies in math, science and technology and careers in aeronautics and space. After the assembly, students will launch various home-built rockets. Diaz and Drew also will speak at a community event in the evening.

What: NASA Explorer School ‘Launch’ Event

When: Student Assembly: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PDT

Rocket Launches: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. PDT

Community Event: 5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. PDT

Who: Astronaut Alvin Drew and Angela Phillips Diaz, chief of strategic communications and development at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field Calif.

Where: Sequoia Middle School, 1450 West Castle, Porterville, Calif. 93257

News media interested in attending or interviewing Diaz and Drew should contact Jonas Dino at 650-207-3280 or 650-604-5612. Visitors are required to sign in at the school’s main office to enter the campus.

Diaz was appointed the chief of strategic communications and development at NASA Ames in June 2006. Diaz previously served in various NASA management positions, including as NASA’s acting assistant administrator for education, deputy assistant administrator for legislative affairs, assistant associate administrator for policy and plans in the Office of Space Flight and director of the Human Space Flight and Research Division in the Office of External Relations. Diaz earned a bachelor’s degree and a master of business administration degree from Marymount University, Arlington, Va. She graduated from the advanced management program at the Harvard University Business School, Boston.

Drew, a colonel in the United States Air Force, was selected for the astronaut corps as a mission specialist in July 2000. As a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, Drew earned bachelor’s degrees in astronautical engineering and physics. He later earned a master’s degree in aerospace science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. Drew is a highly decorated combat veteran flying helicopter search and rescue missions in numerous military operations include, having flown in operations Just Cause, Desert Shield/ Desert Storm and Provide Comfort. He has flown more than 3,000 hours in more than 30 types of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.

The NASA Explorer School program is a three-year partnership, sponsored by NASA, to help educators and students join NASA’s mission of discovery through educational activities and special learning opportunities tailored to promote science, mathematics and technology applications and career explorations.

During the partnership, students in the NES program participate in digital conferences with scientists and engineers at NASA. Educators also take the hands-on activities to their students to provide exciting learning experiences in the science, mathematics and technology fields.

For information about the NASA Explorer Schools Program, visit:


For information about NASA, visit:



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