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Rep. Cynthia McKinney Announces NASA and Fernbank Educational Partnership to Benefit Students of Georgia

June 4, 1998

(Washington) - Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney today announced the successful facilitation of a new pilot-program partnership between NASA and Fernbank Science Center in DeKalb County that will provide area students with opportunities and unique experiences in space, science, earth science, space medicine and global communications as early as this summer. "It is expected that our students will take full advantage of this opportunity and begin to develop an appreciation in mathematics, science, and technology as these are the disciplines that will be in demand as we move into the next millennium," commented McKinney.

Space Station Fernbank Institute will provide an investigative learning environment focused on the exploration of space and technological advances that contribute to an improved quality of everyday life for students. Beginning this summer selected students will work with Fernbank scientists in an intensive three week exploration where activities will include the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to investigate applications of satellite technology; tracking motions of planets using specialized software and hardware; the acquisition of digital images of planets utilizing CCD cameras; cloning plants that provide the capacity to carry oxygen generating plants into space, and other activities that explore advancement or telecommunications for the global community. "As science and technology change and refine our outlook on education, active partnering with organizations such as NASA ultimately provides new ways of learning to empower our students and teachers for the challenges of the 21st. century," said Mary Hiers, Director of Fernbank Science Center.

In addition, students will participate in overnight field trips to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama and Americaís premier spaceport, Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida. "The result of this marriage is a wonderful opportunity for the students of Georgia and developmental opportunities for the talented Fernbank staff and educators. Our intention is to create a permanent NASA presence in Atlanta long after this summerís pilot program," concluded McKinney.

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