More than 120 District of Columbia under-served youths who are participating in a special after-school education program will have an opportunity later this week to see the world-class scientific and technological facilities located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The students are participating in the Higher Achievement Program, an after-school education enrichment program that provides education in math, literature, and technology to children in the 5th through the 8th grades.

As part of their visit on Friday, August 3, the students will tour the special chambers that simulate the environmental conditions of space and the largest class clean room of its kind that is 1,000 times more sterile than a hospital operating room. They will also be shown the visualization lab where computers are used to transform scientific data into still images and animation. In addition, the students will hear from Dr. Ronald Parise who served as a payload specialist aboard Space Shuttle Columbia on an astronomy mission in December 1990.

Higher Achievement’s education model was developed to foster analytical thinking, judgment, problem-solving and communication skills. The four-year curricula include core academic courses combined with cultural education and community activities. Scholars attend one of the three DC Higher Achievement Learning Centers three nights a week during the school year, and every day during the six-week summer Academies. The core courses, math, literature, and technology, are designed according to the grade-appropriate standards.

News media who would like to observe the Higher Achievement students visit to Goddard Space Flight Center from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 3, should contact the Goddard Public Affairs office. The GSFC newsoom can be reached at (301) 286-8955.

More information is available at the following website: