NASA’s new education initiative, the NASA Explorer Schools Program, was
launched June 30, 2003 during the National Educational Computing Conference
(NECC 2003) in Seattle. Dr. Adena Williams Loston, NASA associate
administrator for education, and astronaut Don Pettit formally announced the
first 50 competitively selected NASA Explorer Schools. Nearly 1,000
educators, policy makers and educational technology industry
representatives, including education representatives from Kennedy Space
Center, were present at the conference. The innovative program will send the
nation’s science and mathematics teachers “back to school” at NASA Centers
during the summer.

Among the 50 Explorer School Teams selected from 30 states, five schools
were from Kennedy Space Center’s district that includes Florida and Georgia.
The schools are Carol City Elementary School, Opa Locka, Fla.; Stewart
Magnet Middle School, Tampa; Oscar Patterson Elementary School, Panama City,
Fla.; Howard W. Bishop, Gainesville, Fla.; and Bunche Middle School,
Atlanta, Ga.

During the commitment period, NASA KSC will invite teachers from the
selected schools to the space center to acquire new teaching resources and
technology tools, using NASA’s unique content, experts and other resources,
to help make learning science, mathematics and technology more appealing to
students. The program is directed specifically at students in grades 5
through 8.

“At NASA, we feel compelled to act, to implement proactive and innovative
approaches, such as the NASA Explorer Schools Program, to help stem the
decline in the number of young people pursuing study of science, technology,
engineering and math disciplines,” Loston said. “If we can help in ways
unique to NASA’s mission, to hold students’ interest in match and science
through the middle school years, we would anticipate a marked increase in
students entering related careers. The nation’s continued leadership in
science and technology depends on the efforts of NASA and others.”

The new initiative is sponsored by the NASA Education Enterprise in
collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). It
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.

For a list of NASA’s first 50 Explorer Schools or information about NASA’s
Explorer Schools Program, visit the program’s web site:

For information about the NASA Education Enterprise and programs, visit:

For information about NASA on the Internet, visit: