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Lindsay Crouch
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RELEASE : 06-067
NASA Kicks Off New Adventure for Cherokee Middle

Astronaut Bill McArthur, Steve Jurczyk, deputy director of NASA Langley Research Center and Jim Stofan, NASA's deputy assistant administrator for education programs, will visit Cherokee Middle School, in Cherokee, N.C., on Friday, Oct. 20, to kick off the newly established educational partnership between NASA and the school and to bring the Vision of Space Exploration to students and their families.

McArthur, Jurczyk and Stofan will encourage students to study math and science so they can pursue careers in aeronautics and space as they discuss NASA's plans to return to the moon and go on to Mars.

The student assembly will be held at Cherokee Middle School at 9 a.m. Friday.

Media interested in covering the event or arranging an interview with McArthur, Jurczyk or Stofan should contact Marny Skora at 757-344-6111 by 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19.

A retired U.S. Army Colonel, McArthur joined NASA in 1987 as a Space Shuttle vehicle integration test engineer and was selected as an astronaut in 1990. A veteran of four spaceflights, McArthur has logged 224 days, 22 hours, 28 minutes and 10 seconds in space, including 24 hours and 21 minutes of extravehicular activity time in four spacewalks. He also served as the commander of the International Space Station's Expedition 12 from September 2005 until April 2006.

As NASA Langley Research Center's deputy director, Jurczyk assists in the general management of the center, planning and directing center activities to advance research significant to national aerospace programs and objectives. Before being named deputy director, Jurczyk was director of Langley's Research and Technology Directorate. Since beginning his NASA career at Langley in 1988 as an electronics engineer, Jurczyk has held many roles in management in the areas of aerospace electronics and systems engineering.

As NASA's deputy assistant administrator for education programs, Stofan reports to the assistant administrator for education. He shares responsibility for providing executive leadership, functional management and coordination of NASA's education programs and activities. His background includes positions in the National Wildlife Federation; Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health; and Sea World of Florida.

Cherokee Middle School was named one of NASA's 2006 Explorer Schools in May. The school started the program this fall and will continue the partnership for the next three years.

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.

Over the next three years, students in the NES program will participate in videoconferences with scientists and engineers at NASA. Forest Lake teachers will also take NASA hands-on activities to their students to provide exciting learning experiences in the science, mathematics and technology fields.

To learn more about the NES program, please visit:

For more information on research at NASA, visit:


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