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For release: 07/01/03
Release #: 03-105

NASA Explorer Schools Program takes off

NASA's new education initiative, the Explorer Schools Program, is sending math and science teachers "back to school" later this summer to learn new skills and resources. Designed to make learning science, math and technology more appealing to students, the workshop will bring teachers from newly designated Explorer Schools in Bolivar, Tenn., Phenix City, Ala., Sioux Rapids, Iowa, Belle Chasse, La., and Hot Springs, Ark., to the Marshall Center.

T oday NASA launched a major new education initiative, the NASA Explorer Schools Program, before an audience of nearly 1,000 educators, policy makers and educational technology industry representatives at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC 2003) in Seattle at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center. The multimedia event kicked-off an innovative program that will send the Nation's science and mathematics teachers "back to school" at NASA Centers in the summer to acquire new
teaching resources and technology tools using NASA's unique content, experts and other resources — to make learning science, mathematics and technology more appealing to students.

As part of the annual conference hosted by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), NASA Associate Administrator for Education Dr. Adena Williams Loston, joined by Astronaut Don Pettit and other special guests, formally announced the first 50 competitively selected NASA Explorer Schools.

For a list of NASA's first 50 Explorer Schools visit the program's revamped web site:

The new initiative, sponsored by the NASA Education Enterprise in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), establishes a three-year partnership between NASA and 50 NASA Explorer Schools teams, consisting of teachers and education administrators from diverse communities across the country. During the commitment period, NASA will invite teams to NASA Centers in an effort to spark innovative science and mathematics instruction directed specifically at students in grades 5 through 8.

The 50 selected school teams represent 30 states. Eighty percent of the schools are located in high poverty areas, with seventy-five percent representing predominantly minority communities. Fifty-eight percent of the competitively selected school teams are located in both high poverty and high minority districts.

"NASA's mission is to inspire the next generation of explorers by helping to make learning science and math more fun, " remarks Dr. Adena Williams Loston, NASA Associate Administrator for Education. "The NASA Explorer Schools Program will provide us with yet another promising avenue to positively and uniquely impact science and math instruction in the Nation's classrooms…as only NASA can."

ISTE, based in Eugene, OR, is a nonprofit professional organization with a worldwide membership of leaders and potential leaders in educational technology. ISTE's mission is to provide leadership and service to improve teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology in K12 education and teacher education. The NECC 2003 attracts over 15,000 educators annually.

For more information about ISTE and the National Educational Computing Conference, visit:

For more information about NSTA visit:

For information about other NASA Education programs, visit:

For more information:
News release

Martin Jensen
Public Affairs Office
(256) 544-0034

Gretchen Cook-Anderson
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-0836

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