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News Release 99-45

For Release: June 4, 1999

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

Mabel Edmonds
Harris-Stowe State College
(Bus: 314/535-3725, Ext. 252)

NASA Provides Contract to St. Louis Partnership for Program That Encourages and Prepares Students for Careers in Math and Science

CLEVELAND, OH - Exploring the world of science and technology, using the latest in computer hardware and software, will lead many St. Louis students to new discoveries including how to design an aircraft and plot its flight.

The NASA Glenn Research Center and the St. Louis partnership of Harris-Stowe State College, St. Louis Public School System and the St. Louis Science Center have established a Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) for kindergarten through 12th grade with a focus on under-served students. SEMAA's purpose is to enhance the success and motivate greater numbers of students to pursue careers in science, math and related fields.

"The SEMAA program in St. Louis promises to excite its participants to excellence in science, math and technology," said NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin. "SEMAA also will help ensure that we continue to develop a pool of qualified individuals to lead our nation in the 21st century."

The St. Louis Academy located in the Harris-Stowe State College 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 will explore satellite global positioning, remote sensing, amateur radio and aircraft design, and collect weather information in preparation for flight. In addition, students will use the Internet to make reservations at their destination and conduct airfoil experiments utilizing a specially designed wind tunnel. The experience culminates in a virtual flight using a cockpit simulator or head mounted display.

Leading a dedication ceremony was Harris-Stowe State College President Dr. Henry Givens, Jr., St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cleveland Hammonds, Jr., St. Louis Science Center President Douglas R. King and NASA Office of Equal Opportunity Programs Associate Administrator George E. Reese.

"Through the untiring efforts of Congressman William L. Clay and the collaborative work of members of the St. Louis partnership, SEMAA will offer a unique set of learning experiences for St. Louis Public School students, kindergarten to grade 12," said Harris-Stowe State College President Dr. Henry Givens, Jr. "These activities will enable improved participation and success in college preparatory courses and in post-secondary undergraduate science, math, engineering and technology programs. The SEMAA project will provide science and mathematics enrichment programs to complement the instructional programs currently offered in the schools, afford students opportunities for college campus visitations, increase interest and awareness of careers, and impact involvement of parents to ensure the future success of their children in the science, mathematics and technology-related careers."

A $525,000 two-year grant, provided by the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs at NASA's Headquarters in Washington, D.C., was presented to the partnership for the establishment of the SEMAA program.

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 Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta, GA; Sinclair Community College, Dayton, OH; Wayne County Community College, Detroit, MI; University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC; and York College, Jamaica, NY. Future sites are planned for the public school districts in Chicago, IL, Baltimore, MD and Greenville, NC.

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