Press Release

NASA Ames to Host Jason Project for 10,000 Local Students

By SpaceRef Editor
February 23, 2000
Filed under

John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Phone: 650/604-5026 or 650/604-9000



Project XI: “Going to Extremes,” a series of live one-hour satellite
telecasts, Feb. 28, through March l0, in the Main Auditorium, Bldg. N-201,
at NASA Ames Research Center, in California’s Silicon Valley. A variety of
“NASA Expo” hands-on student activities will be held in Hangar 1. Each
day, broadcasts start at 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., PST.
There will be no JASON activities on March 5. To reach Ames, take the
Moffett Field exit off Highway 101, drive east to the main gate at Moffett
Federal Airfield, and report to the Visitor Badging office for vehicle
passes and directions to the Main Auditorium and Hangar 1. U.S. media
representatives must present valid press credentials or photo ID to enter
Ames. Foreign media will not be admitted without NASA escort and must be
cleared for entry.

NASA Ames to Host Jason Project for 10,000 Local Students

Organizers expect more than 10,000 San Francisco Bay Area students to visit
NASA Ames Research Center, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley,
Feb. 28 through March 10, to talk via satellite with astronauts and
scientists as part of JASON Project XI: “Going to Extremes.” Also, a “NASA
Expo” in historic Hangar 1 at Ames will include many hands-on activities
for the students and some 2,000 teachers and chaperones from more than 100
local schools.

Fifty-five one-hour satellite telecasts will link students with
International Space Station astronauts at Johnson Space Center, Houston,
TX, and Aquarius Underwater Laboratory scientists in the Florida Keys.

“The JASON Project is a rare and exciting opportunity for students to
launch into the history of discovery . . . to reflect upon the achievements
of the past in an effort to contribute to the knowledge of the future,”
said NASA Astronaut Jerry Linenger.

“Students will engage with world-class scientists, having thoroughly
prepared to do so in their classrooms,” said Thomas Clausen, education
officer at Ames. “The JASON Project is a demonstration of what happens
when you combine a well thought out curriculum with modern communication
technology; it opens students’ eyes to new possibilities,” he said.

“This is a chance for students to leave the structure of the classroom to
study how real research is done,” said retired science teacher John
Colombero, Ames’ JASON Project Coordinator.

During the broadcasts, students from grades 3 through 9 will be able to
chat with sea and space experts and “Argonaut” students. Argonauts are the
students and teachers selected by the JASON Project to travel to the JASON
expedition sites. Ames is one of 36 JASON “primary interactive network
sites” located across the nation and in Bermuda, Mexico and the United
Kingdom. Worldwide, JASON officials expect about 750,000 students to
participate in the program. Millions of other youths will also take part
through the Internet at: The JASON Internet
site includes, “chat sessions” with scientists, a digital lab that provides
experiments students can do on-line and other information.

Two Bay Area students are JASON Argonauts and will take part in the
broadcasts from Florida and Texas. Diver Whitney Brown, 15, of Castilleja
School, Palo Alto, CA, will be stationed in Aquarius, the world’s only
underwater laboratory, during the first week of JASON broadcasts. The
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration owns Aquarius, which is
operated by the National Undersea Research Center at the University of
North Carolina, Wilmington.

Ninth grader Kathrina Manalac, of Notre Dame High School, Belmont, CA,
will be at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, during the second week
of JASON broadcasts. Reporters may call the JASON Project press office at
703/276-2772 to arrange telephone interviews with the two students in
March. JASON will also arrange TV satellite interviews with the students
to take place on March 1 and March 8 following the last JASON broadcast
each day, after 2 p.m. PST. Feb. 28 and March 6, JASON will feed two
satellite TV news packages. Call the JASON press office for the satellite
interview times.

In Hangar 1, students will compete in glider contests and other action
activities, get hands-on experience with space hardware and learn about
undersea operations throughout the 10-day JASON project. Students also
will interview scientists during “Ask an Astrobiologist” program that is
similar to TV game shows. Astrobiology is the study of the origin,
evolution, distribution and destiny of life in the universe. The expo
includes programs that repeat daily during JASON from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During relay race-like activities at NASA Expo, students will take
“spacewalks to refuel a space shuttle” in outfits designed to help youths
understand the difficulties of working in space. Students who attend a
computer lab will be able to test a NASA-developed “Astroventure” computer
program that simulates the search for habitable planets. There will also
be a display of robots constructed by local high school students.

Founded by international explorer and RMS Titanic-discoverer Dr. Robert
Ballard, the JASON Project incorporates cutting-edge technologies, a
multi-disciplinary curriculum, professional training for teachers and
Internet communications into a comprehensive learning program.


SpaceRef staff editor.