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For Immediate Release: Boynton Beach High School Students Help NASA to Explore Mars

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  • Erich Landstrom
    CONTACT: Erich Landstrom, NASA JPL Solar System Educator Cell #561.601.7755 Email: landstrom@yahoo.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 Boynton
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 22, 2003
      CONTACT: Erich Landstrom, NASA JPL Solar System
      Educator
      Cell #561.601.7755
      Email: landstrom@...

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 22, 2003
      Boynton Beach High School Students Help NASA to
      Explore Mars

      While the ultimate field trip might someday be an
      actual journey to Mars, Boynton Beach Community High
      School students are taking the next best thing. NASA
      is giving teams from the school the opportunity to
      explore Mars by working on specific research projects
      during the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions, set
      to land on the red planet in January 2004.

      The Mars Exploration Student Data Teams (MESDT)
      project is a unique opportunity to be part of an
      out-of-this-world experience experiment during the
      2003-04 MER missions. Advance studies will prepare the
      students for participating in the mission when the two
      rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, begin exploring Mars.
      Teams work with scientists to prepare for rover
      operations, to analyze data during the mission, and to
      reach out to others through presentations, articles,
      and web sites. Teachers will be part of each team and
      will help students in their investigations of Mars and
      its geologic history. Students will relay their
      experiences to other students in their schools and
      communities and to the public in order to share the
      excitement of exploring Mars. The Mars Exploration
      Student Data Team project officially begins with a
      kick-off teleconference on September 10, 2003 from 5-6
      PM EDT.

      The MESDT teams are from 24 states plus the District
      of Columbia and an American school in Bolivia. Boynton
      Beach Community High School in Boynton Beach is one of
      51 participating schools selected during a nationwide
      search to provide students for MESDT. The 51 teams
      participating in the MESDT program will use data from
      Mars-orbiting spacecraft to help characterize aspects
      of Mars from the atmosphere to the surface that affect
      the rover missions. Two NASA orbiters, Mars Global
      Surveyor and Mars Odyssey, are actively examining the
      planet. MESDT will help compare orbital data to
      rover-collected data for "ground truthing," which
      means using ground-level observations to verify
      interpretations of remote observations. There will be
      frequent interactions with data team members and Mars
      scientists via distance learning. The two programs
      will closely complement each other, just as both
      landed and orbital science teams work closely together
      in planetary missions.

      The Boynton Beach �Tiger� teams will be lead by Erich
      Landstrom, high school science teacher of the year
      (2002-03) for the School District of Palm Beach
      County. Landstrom is also a Solar System Educator for
      NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The goal of the
      Solar System Educators Program is to inspire America's
      students, create learning opportunities, and enlighten
      inquisitive minds by engaging them in the Solar System
      exploration efforts conducted by NASA. Educators lead
      workshops that show teachers how to successfully
      incorporate NASA materials and research into their
      classes. Landstrom was selected as Florida�s Educator
      during a nationwide search in August 2000, while
      Director of Astronomy Education at the South Florida
      Science Museum. JPL, a division of the California
      Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., manages the
      Mars Exploration Program's Mars Public Engagement
      efforts on behalf of NASA.

      Additional information about the MESDT and the MER
      missions is available online at
      http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov and
      http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/classroom/students/mer .


      =====
      Erich Landstrom, NASA JPL Solar System Educator
      Solar System Educators Program http://www.ssep.org
      [Hands-on teacher training workshops sharing NASA's
      missions of research, discovery and exploration!]

      Science fiction & science fact stranger than fiction.
      Listen Monday mornings on
      http://www.SCIFIOVERDRIVE.com

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      =====
      Erich Landstrom, NASA JPL Solar System Educator
      Solar System Educators Program http://www.ssep.org
      [Hands-on teacher training workshops sharing NASA's
      missions of research, discovery and exploration!]

      Science fiction & science fact stranger than fiction.
      Listen Monday mornings on http://www.SCIFIOVERDRIVE.com

      __________________________________
      Do you Yahoo!?
      Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software
      http://sitebuilder.yahoo.com

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