NASA today announced a big step toward improving the way
it brings space science to local communities around the

The agency’s Office of Space Science, at its headquarters in
Washington, selected seven recipients for grants to help
space scientists become involved in educational activities,
build partnerships between the space science and education
communities, and serve as the regional points-of-contact for
space scientists and educators seeking information on and
involvement in NASA’s Space Science education and outreach

In addition, the program is designed to provide meaningful
opportunities for groups that might not ordinarily
participate in NASA research and education programs.

“This new selection will deepen connections between NASA’s
Office of Space Science and educators across the country and
improve our ability to search out productive opportunities
for the space science community to participate in education
and public outreach,” said Dr. Jeffrey Rosendhal, Director of
Education and Public Outreach for NASA’s Office of Space
Science. “We also expect this to provide an injection of
fresh ideas and new capabilities to our educational and
public outreach team.”

A representative at each selected institution will serve as a
bridge between the space science and local and regional
education communities, including formal education, informal
education, and public outreach organizations.

“One goal of this program is to channel the expertise of the
space science community into directions that will best
benefit the educational process and contribute to the public
understanding of space science,” added Dr. Rosendhal.

“We want to encourage scientists working on NASA-funded
research in communities throughout the country to get
involved in bringing space science into the local educational
systems and communities in creative ways. The
Broker/Facilitators we selected today will work with these
scientists to bring space science to areas such as local
schools, museums, libraries, service organizations and others
to help meet the unique needs of each region,” he said.

The program will work to build partnerships between those
scientists and professional educators to ensure both the
scientific integrity and the educational usefulness of the
projects and products that are created.

Each award is for 5 years, at approximately $300K per year,
starting in January 2002.

The individuals and institutions receiving the awards are:

* Dr. Kathleen Johnson, Lunar and Planetary Institute,

* Dr. Julie H. Lutz, University of Washington, Seattle

* Dr. Cherilynn A. Morrow, Space Science Institute, Boulder,

* Dr. Nitin Naik, Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, W.

* Dr. Carolyn C. Narasimhan, Depaul University, Chicago

* Dr. Cassandra Runyon, College of Charleston, Charleston,

* Dr. Cary I. Sneider, Museum of Science, Boston