The Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI) and NASA Kennedy Space
Center (KSC), under a cooperative agreement signed last week, will
collaborate on FSRI’s Advanced Learning Environment (ALE) initiative,
incorporating cutting-edge NASA and military web-based education and
simulation technologies into a revolutionary new learning environment
designed to prepare space industry scientists, engineers and technicians for
tomorrow’s technology challenges.

“I see great synergy between Florida’s simulation and space
industries, both of which have been among the top high-tech enterprises in
our state,” said Florida Lt. Governor Frank Brogan. “This program can
leverage the strengths of each industry to solve training problems facing
our state’s most important high-tech economic sectors.”

Under the agreement, FSRI and NASA will develop, test and evaluate a
prototype web-based “advanced distributed learning” environment for
cryogenics engineering at KSC. The project will involve the development of
a consortium of public and private universities designed to support KSC’s
research, and will allow Florida’s colleges and universities to incorporate
these technologies to enhance their science and engineering education

“NASA is very excited about the potential outcome of this
partnership with FSRI,” said KSC Director Roy Bridges. “We need a highly
skilled workforce to accomplish our goals for space exploration and
commerce, and this project will help us take a big step forward in learning

The NASA agreement provides a $500,000 matching contribution to the second
phase of FSRI’s $1.4 million ALE contract with Workforce Florida, Inc. The
Workforce Florida contract, and NASA’s participation in the program,
resulted from an agreement signed by Lt. Governor Brogan and KSC Director
Bridges in September 2000.

“Emerging technologies like ‘advanced distributed learning’ will
revolutionize workforce education and training over the coming decades,”
said Curtis Austin, president and CEO of Workforce Florida. “We view this
project with NASA as a demonstration of what will be possible throughout the
state’s various industrial sectors.”

The Florida Space Research Institute was established by the state’s
Governor and Legislature to promote collaboration among the state’s academic
institutions, space-related companies, and federal space agencies to support
statewide space-related education, training, research and technology