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Gretchen Cook-Anderson
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-0836)
September 15, 2003
RELEASE : 03-292
NASA Explorer Schools Program Takes Flight
Today, NASA will launch the application season for its NASA Explorer Schools (NES) Program. Schools from across the country are eligible to apply online for an opportunity to partner with NASA in a program designed to bring engaging mathematics, science and technology learning to educators, students and families.

The NES Program, which began in June and is sponsored by NASA in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), is one of four major new education initiatives at the agency. NES establishes a three-year partnership between NASA and 50 NASA Explorer Schools teams, consisting of teachers and education administrators from diverse communities nationwide.

During the commitment period, NASA will invite teams "back to school" at NASA Centers each summer in an effort to spark innovative science and mathematics instruction aimed at students in grades 4 through 9. While partnered with NASA, NES teams will acquire throughout the school year new teaching resources and technology tools using NASA’s unique content, experts and other resources -- to make learning science, mathematics and technology more exciting to students.

The 50 NES school teams selected in 2003 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 is committed as never before to inspire the next generation of explorers. We believe that by helping to make learning science and math more fun, we can take advantage of their natural curiosities and spark prolonged learning," remarks Dr. Adena Williams Loston, NASA Associate Administrator for Education. "The NASA Explorer Schools Program allows us to positively and uniquely impact science and math instruction in the nation's classroom ... as only NASA can. In doing so, this education program and others also provide NASA compelling opportunities to continue the legacies of the Columbia and Challenger crews."

NES schools receive grants of up to $10,000 for technology tools that support science and mathematics curricula in the classroom. The deadline for submission of applications for the NES Program is January 30, 2004.

For access to NES applications and information, and to view the list of NASA's first 50 Explorer Schools, visit:

For information about NASA Education programs, visit:

For information about NSTA, visit:


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