Don Nolan-Proxmire Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1983


August 17, 1995

Cam Martin Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA (Phone: 805/258-3448) Michael Finneran Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (Phone: 804/864-8150) Michael Mewhinney Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA (Phone: 415/604-3938) RELEASE: 95-141 LOW-COST NETWORKING TECHNOLOGY OPENS INTERNET ACCESS FOR THE NATION'S K-12 SCHOOLS A revolutionary low-cost networking technology developed by NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, will soon make it possible for remotely located kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) schools to gain affordable access to the Internet. NASA's Information Infrastructure Technology and Applications program, IITA, (part of the High Performance Computing and Communications initiative) recently connected two high schools in California's Mojave desert to the Internet under this program. This unique networking solution is based on high-speed asynchronous modems using data compression and World Wide Web disk caching to emulate a high-bandwidth connection. Highbandwidth connections are generally so costly that they are beyond the reach of K-12 schools. Data services over phone lines that emulate high-bandwidth connections should bring these services within their reach. NASA's effort in this area demonstrates that the educational benefit of a National Information Infrastructure (NII) can be extended to all Americans regardless of their geographic location or economic circumstances. Silver Valley

High School (Yermo, CA) and Barstow High School (Barstow, CA) were chosen as the initial sites for this technology based on their remote location in the Mojave desert and their proximity to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, which collaborates with Langley. This project demonstrates that remotely located schools can economically be placed "next door" to the rest of the nation's schools as they plug in to the NII. NASA provided the funds for the computer hardware, software, training, Internet connections, and systems development for this project. NASA also will provide expertise and limited consultation. The schools have been outfitted with a premiere network solution that is inexpensive by contemporary terms, upwardly compatible for new network infrastructures and can be duplicated across the country. Silver Valley and Barstow will immediately broaden their outreach to the entire educational community on the Internet, which reaches all 50 states and over 170 countries around the world. Teachers from the two high schools will attend Internet training workshops where they will develop computer proficiency and network literacy. They will be instructed on computer system administration, security and ethics. The World Wide Web home pages for these schools can be viewed at and, respectively. "NASA believes that through well designed, executed and publicized pilot programs such as the one planned for Silver Valley and Barstow, new NII technologies will be accelerated and made affordable for the K-12 community," said Mark Leon, deputy program manager for NASA's IITA Program. "In this era of very tight public school budgets, NASA believes that unless the federal government supports the 'pathfinding' role of demonstration pilot projects, the technology will not make its way into America's schools for decades to come." The IITA program is managed by NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA, and is coordinated with the Education Division at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. -endNASA press releases and other information are available

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