NASA and other collaborators launch
Marsapalooza Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. EST at the
American Museum of Natural History, Rose Center for
Earth and Space, New York.

Marsapalooza, an innovative, national education
outreach tour of youthful NASA Mars mission
scientists and engineers, kicks off with a dynamic,
multimedia event. The tour features the Marsapalooza
Team (M-Team), six accomplished young scientists and
engineers, who will encourage young people to pursue
careers in science, technology, engineering and

The M-Team will visit five major cities during a
fast-paced week of events. They will reach out as
role models to students in under-served communities
for the purpose of inspiring the next generation of
explorers, to inform young people about Mars
education program opportunities, and to raise public
literacy about NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers’

Marsapalooza is the product of a unique partnership
funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation,
produced by Passport to Knowledge, and hosted by
several museums, planetariums, science centers, and
schools across the country. The Mars Exploration
Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, are scheduled to
arrive at Mars in January. They will examine rocks
and soils for clues about whether the sites once had
environments hospitable to life.

“We at NASA are thrilled to work with our esteemed
partners on such an innovative initiative,” said
James Stofan, the agency’s director for informal
education. “It is critical to capture the attention
of the nation’s young people in order to educate
them and inspire them into action. We hope to shine
a spotlight on the educational value of the Mars
mission, the exciting careers that all play a role
in making an historic mission like this possible,
and the challenges inherent in one of the greatest
endeavors in recent space exploration,” he said.

Marsapalooza touches down in New York, Washington,
Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles December 2 – 8,
complete with animated video footage, its own
musical soundtrack, and the message to young people
that science and mathematics are cool.

The M-Team, Dr. Jim Rice, Dr. Deborah Bass, Zoe
Learner, Kobie Boykins, Dr. Adam Steltzner, and
Shonte Wright, a diverse group of scientists and
engineers, are representing the Mars Exploration
Rovers’ mission on the tour. Organizers expect the
tour to directly reach more than 10,000 students and
educators and tens of thousands of others through
closed circuit TV, NASA TV video clips and online
streaming video of kick-off event highlights. Tour
events will also provide students from kindergarten
through high school the opportunity to participate
in hands-on activities and educational
demonstrations related to the science of the Mars
Exploration Rover mission.

“We are delighted to be the launch pad for the
Marsapalooza tour,” said Myles Gordon, director for
education programs at the American Museum of Natural
History. “The objective of Marsapalooza mirrors
important aspects of the Museum’s mission, to share
with the public and young people in particular, the
excitement, importance, and relevance of discovery,”
he said.

The NASA Mars Exploration Rover mission and
Marsapalooza tour are highlighted through NASA’s
Mars 2004 (“M2K4”) Web campaign, scheduled for
launch on December 2.

For a listing of Marsapalooza events and information
about NASA on the Internet, visit:

For information about other NASA Education programs
on the Internet, visit:

For more information about the National Science
Foundation, visit:

For more information about Passport to Knowledge,