Terri Hudkins Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1977) RELEASE: 95-21

March 1, 1995

NEW VIDEODISC WILL HELP STUDENTS LEARN EARTH SCIENCES NASA, WGBH-TV, Boston, and Scholastic, Inc., New York, have released an interactive videodisc that gives students and teachers a new perspective on planet Earth. Interactive NOVA: Earth, the fourth videodisc from a series based on WGBH's award-winning television program, shows the Earth's system in action using the power of videodiscs and computers. Interactive NOVA: Earth addresses "What makes the Earth a good home?" To explore the question, students and teachers take electronic field trips to the upper reaches of the Arctic Circle, the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and the depths of a volcano to find clues of how life began on Earth. The concept of examining the Earth as a single, complex environmental system -- called Earth system science -- involves studying the relationships and sciences involved in water cycles, oxygen, food, photosynthesis, soil conservation, ozone and temperature variances, and global climate patterns. NASA's Mission to Planet Earth is a long-term program to use spacecraft, aircraft and ground teams to study Earth system science. Former NASA Astronaut Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Chief Scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, introduces the program and hosts the video field trips to some of the most remote locations on Earth allowing teachers and students to explore Earth system science using dozens of innovative lesson plans, experiments and handson activities. "Interactive NOVA: Earth will provide teachers with an exciting tool for use in their efforts to prepare students for the 21st Century," said Frank Owens, Director of NASA's Education Division. "Technology provides a powerful medium to

translate NASA's research results from programs such as Mission to Planet Earth to formats useful to the education community." The collaborative effort began in March 1992 and has included the contributions of a diverse team of teachers, curriculum specialists, scientists, and other educators. -more-2NASA, through the Offices of Mission to Planet Earth and Human Resources and Education, contributed to this effort by providing data, visualizations, and other video resources as well as by actively participating in the content development through the involvement of key Agency researchers. Interactive NOVA: Earth reflects NASA's commitment to supporting education reform and the achievement of the emerging National Science Education Standards by creating high-quality, affordable interactive learning tools and environments. - end NASA press releases and other information are available automatically by sending an Internet electronic mail message to domo@hq.nasa.gov. In the body of the message (not the subject line) users should type the words "subscribe press-release" (no quotes). The system will reply with a confirmation via E-mail of each subscription. A second automatic message will include additional information on the service. Questions should be directed to (202) 358-4043.