June 25, 2005 Sallie A. Keith Media Relations Office 216-433-5795 sallie.keith@nasa.

gov RELEASE: 05-021 FIRST NASA EDUCATION FACILITY TO OPEN ON NATIVE AMERICAN RESERVATION NASA opened the door to a new era in education today with the dedication of its first Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) Program housed at a Tribal College on a Native American Reservation. NASA SEMAA will provide Native American students located at the Pine Ridge Reservation in Kyle, S.D. with the opportunity to explore, discover and understand space exploration through an Aerospace Education Laboratory, a state-of-the-art electronically enhanced computerized classroom that places cutting edge technology at their fingertips. Through this innovative program students will have access to unique learning experiences that will allow them to take a trip to the International Space Station, design an aircraft and plot its flight across the country. "Our Aerospace Education Laboratory provides the most up to date equipment and technology and will allow students to acquire skills that will assist them in becoming the next generation of explorers and leaders. The program is designed to engage underrepresented students in activities that will spark interest and guide them toward careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics." said NASA's Chief Education Officer Dr. Adena Williams Loston. John Herrington, the first Native American to walk in space, was among dignitaries who attended the dedication. Sponsored by NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, in partnership with Oglala Lakota College, NASA SEMAA offers three eight-week sessions during the academic year and four one-week sessions during the summer. Students meet during school, after school and/or on Saturday mornings to engage in hands-on, inquiry based learning

sessions designed by NASA in a seamless set of K-12 curricula. In addition to being aligned with the national math, science and technology standards, NASA SEMAA curricula encompass the research and technology of each of NASA's four Mission Directorates (Aeronautics Research, Exploration Systems, Science and Space Operations). NASA SEMAA Programs are currently located at 24 sites in 16 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. These site locations include community colleges, four-year colleges/universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, science centers and museums. Additional information about SEMAA can be found at: http://www.semaa.net

For more information about AEL, see http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/MAEL/ -end-