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NASA: 02-168

NASA: 02-168

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Sonja Alexander Headquarters, Washington (Phone: 203/358-1761) RELEASE: 02-168

September 4, 2002

NASA SELECTS THREE ADDITIONAL DESIGNATED SPACE GRANT STATE CONSORTIA NASA has selected three consortia in the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (Space Grant) to become Designated Grant consortia. The three new Designated Consortia -- the Nebraska Space Grant Consortium, the Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium and the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium -- have been part of Space Grant for several years; "Designated" status confers additional budget and program responsibilities. Sponsored by NASA's Education Division in the Office of Human Resources and Education at NASA Headquarters in Washington, the consortia were selected based on a competitive evaluation of the states' programs and plans to strengthen the nation's education and workforce base in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The National Space Grant Program, mandated by Congress in 1987, consists of 52 State Consortia in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. With the additional of Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wisconsin there are now 28 consortia at the Designated level. All carry out programs in education, research and public service. NASA received 14 proposals in response to this Space Grant program announcement. These proposals were all peer-reviewed by programmatic experts from academia and government. "The Space Grant Program has had a very significant impact throughout the nation, by enhancing the training of scientists and engineers at the university level, and by teacher training and in-service activities in precollege education," said Frank Owens, Director, NASA Education Division. "The Space Grant Program serves as a key component of the agency's new emphasis on education through one of its three core missions: To inspire the next generation of explorers ... as only NASA can." -end-

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