Two NASA education programs, to inspire the next generation of explorers, have launched for the new school year. They are open for applications and proposals.

Schools from across the country are eligible to apply online for an opportunity to partner with the NASA Explorer Schools (NES) Program. NES is designed to bring mathematics, science, technology and engineering learning to educators, students and families.

NASA also released a cooperative agreement notice for the informal education community, with an opportunity to compete for funding support to host focus groups for the NASA Explorer Institutes (NEI) Program.

“Students participating in classroom and informal education institute activities are the discoverers, space explorers and inventors of tomorrow. Their future role is vital in order to ensure our nation’s technological and space exploration goals become a reality,” said Dr. Adena Williams Loston, NASA’s Chief Education Officer. “These two programs personify NASA’s commitment to foster learning environments that will inspire young people to understand and protect our home planet, seize opportunities to venture to the moon, Mars and new worlds beyond.”

Each spring, a three-year partnership is established between the agency and 50 new NASA Explorer School teams. More than 100 teams of teachers and education administrators from diverse communities from 46 states have participated.

NASA invites the selected teams to work with education specialists from agency centers to spark innovative science, mathematics and technology instruction aimed at students in grades four through nine. NES teams acquire new teaching resources and technology tools using NASA’s unique content, experts and other resources.

The deadline for submission of NES applications is January 31, 2005.

The NEI Program’s focus groups assemble experts from the informal education community to assist NASA with developing engaging experiences, opportunities, materials and information for use by science centers, museums, planetariums, libraries, parks, aquaria, nature centers, botanical gardens and youth groups across the nation.

NASA anticipates up to 10 NEI focus groups will be funded through this solicitation, at a maximum funding level of $50,000 per project.

Proposals must be received by November 12, 2004.

To view the 2005 NES application on the Internet, visit:

For information on the cooperative agreement notice and NASA Explorer Institutes, visit:

For information about NASA education programs on the Internet, visit: