NASA Kicks Off Summer of Innovation Program June 10
NASA Summer of Innovation graphicThe national kickoff for NASA's Summer of Innovation will be at JPL on June 10. Image credit: NASA/JPL PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA officially kicks off its Summer of Innovation initiative at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., on Thursday, June 10. Through the program, NASA will engage thousands of middle school students and teachers in stimulating math- and science-based education programs. NASA's goal is to increase the number of future scientists, mathematicians and engineers, with an emphasis on broadening participation of low- income and minority students.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, JPL Director Charles Elachi and astronaut Leland Melvin will share their personal space exploration experiences with middle school students during a live NASA Television program starting at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (1 p.m. Eastern Time).

The Summer of Innovation program uses the excitement of NASA missions to keep students interested in science and math during the "summer slide," a measurable loss of learning skills that occurs during the school break.

Approximately 250 middle school students and teachers have been invited to the June 10 event at JPL. They will have the opportunity to speak directly with NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists and will participate in eight interactive and educational activities, such as launching paper rockets and building comets from Styrofoam and ribbon. They also will see NASA robotics in action and meet the next Mars rover, Curiosity. The rover is being assembled at JPL and is scheduled to launch in 2011.

The students invited to the event at JPL are from these schools:

Better Educated Students for Tomorrow After School Enrichment Program, Los Angeles
Micro-Enterprise Charter Academy, Long Beach, Calif.
Washington Middle School, Pasadena, Calif.
Foshay Learning Center, Los Angeles

To view the event and for NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit .

Live video streaming of the Summer of Innovation kickoff also will be available on the Web between 10 a.m. and noon Pacific Time (1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern Time) at .

For information about NASA education programs, visit . For information about NASA and agency programs, visit .

The California Institute of Technology manages JPL for NASA.