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News Release 99-26

For Release: April 19, 1999

Kathleen A. Zona/Lori Rachul
NASA Glenn Research Center
(phone: 216/433-2920)

Dawn Kelly
York College/CUNY
(phone: 718/262-2354)

NASA Provides Grant to York College/Cuny for Program to Encourage and Prepare Students for Careers in Math and Science

CLEVELAND, OH - Having to go to school might not be so bad for some students this summer. Using the latest in computer hardware and software, students will design their own aircraft, plot its flight path and determine the amount of fuel necessary to complete the flight.

The NASA Glenn Research Center and York College have established a Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) for kindergarten through 12th grade with a focus on minority and under-represented students. SEMAA's purpose is to enhance the success and motivate greater numbers of students to pursue careers in science, math and related fields.

A $525,000 two-year grant was presented to York College from NASA for the SEMAA project during a ribbon-cutting and news conference at the college. The grant is provided by the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs at NASA's Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Leading the ceremony was York College President Dr. Charles C. Kidd, Sr., Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (D-6th CD), NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin and Associate Administrator for Equal Opportunity Programs, NASA headquarters, George Reese. Other dignitaries participating included: Glenn Research Center Director Donald J. Campbell and Astronaut Joan Higginbotham.

"Through the SEMAA program, bridges are being built that will lead these students into the future," said Glenn Center Director Donald Campbell. "The AEL was the result of Administrator Goldin's vision and ability to energize NASA employees to stretch themselves and make things happen to benefit our national and international community."

York's Academy will feature an Aeronautics Education Laboratory (AEL). AEL is a leap in classroom technology, a state-of-the-art, electronically enhanced computerized classroom that puts cutting-edge technology in the hands of students in grades 9-12. At nine unique workstations, SEMAA students can explore technologies through hands-on/minds-on activities that model real-world challenges in aviation.

"The SEMAA program not only nurtures the pipeline that brings students to our programs here at York, it will provide exposure and stimulation to the children in this neighborhood they would not normally have," said York College President Charles C. Kidd, Sr.

A vision of former Congressman Louis Stokes (D-OH), SEMAA was established in 1993 by Glenn and Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, OH, to foster understanding and enthusiasm in school-age children for science, math and technology fields. Since 1993, SEMAA has grown from a single site location to a multiple site organization reaching thousands of children in grades K-12 and their families. SEMAA has been replicated at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, OH; Wayne County Community College, Detroit, MI and at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. Future sites are planned for the public school districts in Chicago, IL, and St. Louis, MO; Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta, GA; Lakeland Community College in Ashtabula, OH; and in Baltimore, DC and Greenville, NC.

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