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Lindsay Crouch
Langley Research Center, Va.
757-864-3189, 757-870-6912 (mobile)

RELEASE : 06-059C
North Carolina Teachers Play Role of Students at NASA

For one week in June, 14 elementary and middle school teachers and administrators traveled to NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., to take their turn as students again.

Fred Harris, Bette Fitzgerald, Carolyn West, Edward Stokeley and Phyllis Thompson of Cherokee Middle School, in Cherokee, N.C., spent the week of June 19 learning about NASA and how to incorporate NASA technology in their classrooms. They toured NASA Langley's facilities, including model shops, laboratories and a wind tunnel. They also participated in team-building activities to take back to their school.

"Through programs and the technology now available through NASA, Cherokee Middle School will be able to share information with all content areas," said Harris, principal.

The NASA Explorer School (NES) program is 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.

Cherokee Middle School was announced as one of NASA's 2006 Explorer Schools in May. They will be starting the NES program this fall and will continue the partnership for the next three years.

"We applied to be a NASA Explorer School to provide a greater opportunity for the students of Cherokee Middle School to learn and achieve," said Harris.

The theme for the one-week workshop revolved around the vision for NASA -- exploring the moon, Mars and beyond -- and also highlighted NASA Langley's key role in aeronautics and space. Workshop attendees participated in team-building activities to plan their role in the NES program and learned about the numerous resources available. They also spent time designing a three-year strategic plan for incorporating NASA technology into their school curriculum.

Throughout the next three years, students in the NES program will participate in digital conferences with scientists and engineers at NASA. Educators will also take the hands-on activities they participated in during their workshop back to their students to provide exciting learning experiences in the science, math and technology fields.

To learn more about the NES program, please visit:

For information about NASA research and exploration, visit:


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