May 1, 2012

NASA Explorer Schools Symposium showcases student research

Students from across the nation will gather at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston May 2-5 for the annual NASA Explorer Schools Symposium.

These future leaders in science, technology, education and math, or STEM, have completed research investigations and will present their findings to a team of NASA scientists and engineers, student peers and educators.

The competitively selected group consists of 60 students in grades four through 12 and 30 educators from 21 states. The group’s research projects were designed to inspire interest in STEM disciplines and encourage pursuit of technical careers.

The students completed an original investigation based on existing NASA missions or research programs. Participants presented their work virtually to experts at NASA centers earlier this year in regional symposia using the agency’s Digital Learning Network.

“NASA’s mission of research and discovery is a powerful context for learning,” said Greg “Box” Johnson, astronaut and associate director of external programs at the agency’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. “Each year students amaze us with presentations that in many ways mirror the work of our scientists and engineers. This symposium offers students practical experience giving presentations in a professional setting while providing a front-row seat to NASA’s careers, research and discoveries.”

In addition to presenting their work at the national symposium, participants also will learn more about NASA’s research activities and exploration missions. Students will tour a variety of operational facilities at Johnson, including the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, a large swimming pool that plays a key role in astronaut training.

The NASA Explorer Schools project offers multiple pathways for participation and requires no application process. Teacher participants must be U.S. citizens and have a valid education certification as an administrator or educator in a nationally accredited education institution within the United States or its territories, or Department of Defense or State Department schools.

The program is a key part of NASA’s Office of Education goals to help develop the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers through STEM studies.


For more information about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit


For more information about NASA’s education programs, visit


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