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Ames to Host JASON Project for 10,000-Plus California Students
Ames to Host JASON Project for 10,000-Plus California Students
25 Jan 2001
(Source: Ames Research Center)

John Bluck
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
Phone: 650/604-5026 or 650/604-9000


Hawaiian volcanoes and life forms will highlight 50 interactive satellite telecasts that more than 10,000 California students will attend Jan. 29 through Feb. 9 at NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.

Students can talk live by satellite with scientists and students studying volcanoes and the kinds of life that live in lava tubes in Hawaii. These investigations are part of a big educational effort, "JASON Project XII: A Living Laboratory." Two broadcast sites will be the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Little House on the Lava, both on the big island of Hawaii. A third broadcast site is the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on the island of Kauai.

"Students on location and viewers around the world will see lava flowing out of a Kilauea Volcano vent, through a lava tube and into the ocean," said science teacher John Colombero, Ames' JASON Project coordinator. "This specific lava flow has been active since about 1998, and it travels about seven miles with very low temperature loss."

"The JASON broadcast offers students the opportunity to see their peers participate in real research as it actually happens," said Thomas Clausen, education officer at Ames. "The teachers and students participating in JASON have been preparing for their visit to Ames since last fall, learning about Hawaii and its unique geology and ecosystems."

During the broadcasts, students from grades 3 through 9 will be able to chat with scientists, researchers and "Argonauts." Argonauts are students and teachers selected by the JASON Project to travel to JASON expedition sites. Ames is one of 38 JASON "primary interactive network" sites located across the nation and in Bermuda, Mexico and the United Kingdom as well as other countries.

Worldwide, JASON officials expect about 750,000 students and teachers to take part in the program. Many other youths also will participate via 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. In addition, teachers can manage their students' class work with the JASON website.

NASA Ames is sponsoring an Argonaut, ninth grader Sarah Beth Walker of Nevada Union High School, Grass Valley, CA. She will take part in the broadcasts from Hawaii. Reporters may call the JASON Project press office at 703/276-2772 to arrange telephone interviews with the student for print and radio use from now until Feb. 3, when she is scheduled to leave Hawaii. JASON will pre-schedule TV satellite interviews with Walker for Jan. 31. In addition, JASON also will feed two satellite TV news packages on Monday, Jan. 29 and Monday, Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST/8 a.m. and 11 a.m. PST each day. The feeds will be on TELSTAR 23, down link frequency 4160V.

In Bldg. 583C at NASA Ames, students also will get hands-on experience in solving problems, and will participate in a scavenger hunt. In addition, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center, both of Monterey, CA, will provide an interactive watershed exhibit that illustrates the water cycle. United States Geological Survey (USGS), Menlo Park, CA, scientists will conduct hands-on seismographic demonstrations and will offer a Kilauea Volcano exhibit. USGS will give each teacher a rock sample of Hawaii's Loihi, an island still forming beneath the ocean's surface. These programs repeat daily during JASON from 9:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. PST.

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 within a comprehensive learning program.

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Last Updated: 5 Jun 2001