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Gretchen Cook-Anderson
Headquarters, Washington		September 15, 2003
(Phone: 202/358-0836)

RELEASE: 03-292


     Today, NASA will launch the application season 
for its NASA Explorer Schools (NES) Program. Schools 
from across the country are eligible to apply online 
for an opportunity to partner with NASA in a program 
designed to bring engaging mathematics, science and 
technology learning to educators, students and 

The NES Program, which began in June and is 
sponsored by NASA in collaboration with the National 
Science Teachers Association (NSTA), is one of four 
major new education initiatives at the agency. NES 
establishes a three-year partnership between NASA 
and 50 NASA Explorer Schools teams, consisting of 
teachers and education administrators from diverse 
communities nationwide.  

During the commitment period, NASA will invite teams  
"back to school" at NASA Centers each summer in an 
effort to spark innovative science and mathematics 
instruction aimed at students in grades 4 through 9. 
While partnered with NASA, NES teams will acquire 
throughout the school year new teaching resources 
and technology tools using NASA's unique content, 
experts and other resources -- to make learning 
science, mathematics and technology more exciting to 

The 50 NES school teams selected in 2003 represent 
30 states. Eighty percent of the schools are located 
in high-poverty areas, with seventy-five percent 
representing predominantly minority communities. 
Fifty-eight percent of the competitively selected 
school teams are located in both high-poverty and 
high-minority districts. 

"NASA is committed as never before to inspire the 
next generation of explorers.  We believe that by 
helping to make learning science and math more fun, 
we can take advantage of their natural curiosities 
and spark prolonged learning," remarks Dr. Adena 
Williams Loston, NASA Associate Administrator for 
Education. "The NASA Explorer Schools Program allows 
us to positively and uniquely impact science and 
math instruction in the nation's classrooms. . .as 
only NASA can.  In doing so, this education program 
and others also provide NASA compelling 
opportunities to continue the legacies of the 
Columbia and Challenger crews."

NES schools receive grants of up to $10,000 for 
technology tools that support science and 
mathematics curricula in the classroom. The deadline 
for submission of applications for the NES Program 
is January 30, 2004.

For access to NES applications and information, and 
to view the list of NASA's first 50 Explorer 
Schools, visit:


For information about NASA Education programs, 


For information about NSTA, visit:



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