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Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

Gretchen Cook-Anderson
Headquarters, Washington                  October 10, 2003
(Phone: 202/358-0836)

Sandra Quintanilla
University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, Texas
(Phone: 956/381-2742)

RELEASE: 03-329


     NASA will help encourage an estimated 325,000 high school 
students of Hispanic descent to pursue careers in science, 
technology, engineering and mathematics during Hispanic 
Engineering, Science and Technology Week (HESTEC) 2003, 
October 13-16.

HESTEC Week, hosted by the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg,
Texas, offers unique opportunities for Hispanic 
students to interface with industry executives, government 
officials and educators to help them explore science and 
mathematics-related careers. The event also actively engages 
educators and parents, while encouraging improvements in 
school science, mathematics and technology curricula.

NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator for Education Programs 
Dr. Clifford W. Houston, astronaut Ellen Ochoa, Equal 
Opportunity Programs executive Estella Gillette will 
participate as speakers, symposia panelists and workshop 
leaders. They join Secretary of Education Rod Paige, Rep. 
Ruben Hinojosa and actress Rita Moreno to encourage students 
to pursue higher education, science and technical careers.

"One of NASA's core goals is to inspire the next generation of 
explorers, a diverse group of young people who will replenish 
our aging workforce," remarked Houston. "Our participation at 
HESTEC Week events enables us to reach an enormous audience of Hispanic
students, advancing our ability to inspire and 
motivate young people traditionally underrepresented in 
science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related 
careers," he said.

NASA is proud to be in the second year of a $300,000, three-
year program, Project PEERS, with the University of Texas-Pan 
American. The purpose of PEERS is to improve teachers' 
capacity to offer education opportunities for at-risk students 
from middle and high schools in the Rio Grande Valley in 

HESTEC organizers expect on-site participation by more than 
25,000 students, 2,000 educators and 2,000 parents. They 
anticipate reaching more than 300,000 students nationwide by 
webcasts and closed-circuit TV coverage of conference symposia 
and workshops. High school students from 42 Texas "GEAR UP" 
schools are participating in HESTEC. "GEAR UP," a Department 
of Education grant program, is designed to increase the number 
of low-income students succeeding in postsecondary education.

NASA is hosting an educational downlink on Tuesday, October 
14, from 12:10 to 12:30 p.m. EDT with the crew of the 
International Space Station and HESTEC participants. The 
downlink is with the Station Expedition 7 crew, U.S. astronaut 
Ed Lu and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko.

The International Space Station program, provided via NASA 
downlink, is one in a series with education organizations 
across the country. It is an integral component of NASA's 
Teaching from Space Program. The program enables education 
opportunities, using the unique environment of human space 
flight, and builds partnerships with education communities to 
create unique learning opportunities, through the use of NASA 
research and educational technology.

The downlink is available on NASA TV on AMC-9, transponder 9C, 
C-Band, located at 85 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 
3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical and audio is monaural at 
6.80 MHz. 

For information about NASA on the Internet, visit:


For more information about HESTEC on the Internet, visit:


For information about NASA's education programs on the 
Internet, visit:


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