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Press Release

Contact Person: Roberto Cruz II                                  
Telephone: 408-273-2712
Email: rcruzii@nhu.edu                                                                 

August 12, 2003

The National Hispanic University/NASA
Project Discovery – High School Science in Action

(San Jose, CA) Project Discovery, a three-year NASA funded program, has successfully ended its first year as a collaborative project that teams The National Hispanic University staff and students with LCPA science teachers and 60 LCPA high school students to bring science alive in this exciting dual language immersion setting—so you hear about robotics, rocketry and space missions in Spanish and English. The project is providing support to infuse LCPA’s science curriculum with NASA’s educational resources through project-based learning activities like the robotics projects that were carried out for the Sciencepalooza district-wide science competition held in Spring 2003.  In addition, participating students have the opportunity for exploring science-based careers through research on the Internet, hearing visiting speakers and taking field trips. Parents participated in an orientation workshop.  PACE staff members have already established strong partnerships with East Side Union High School District, and college/university partners such as Evergreen Valley College, San Jose City College, San Jose State University, De Anza College, Foothill College, as well as NASA staff who have been involved in a number of activities throughout the last academic year.

Project Discovery 2002/2003 highlights:

Winter Science and Technology Day at NHU

NHU and NASA-sponsored a reunion of 10 student participants in the 2002 Summer Autonomous Robotics program conducted at NASA Ames Research Center – Moffett Field by Carnegie Mellon University to demonstrate their robots to 100 Project Discovery participants at the Winter Science and Technology Day.  

NHU Science Faculty and Project Discovery Staff High School Outreach Activities

NHU’s science and computer science faculty teamed with the Project Discovery staff to visit six local high schools to talk about careers in science and the admissions requirements to NHU’s degree programs.

Albert Einstein Award Winners at Sciencepalooza Competition

An LCPA Project Discovery team composed of three students won the Albert Einstein Award at the Spring district-wide Sciencepalooza competition for their robotics project.

LCPA School-Wide Science Fair

Two hundred LCPA students formed teams to plan and conduct science projects last Spring that were then set up for display at a Science Fair attended by NHU administrators, faculty, students and special guests—including the San Jose Mayor, city council members and school board trustees.

LCPA Summer School

Project Discovery staff and NHU student mentors helped provide science and math enrichment during the regular summer school session. They worked with students in the classroom to provide individualized attention.

Project Discovery Mars Mission Week

Following the Summer School session, LCPA Project Discovery participants attended a one-week Mars Mission at the University’s large auditorium. Project Discovery took over the auditorium converting it into a “Mars Mission Control Center” where they worked in teams to learn about rockets–using math and physics principals to calculate trajectory, affect of drag and other calculations to simulate their own rocket lift-offs on NHU’s athletic field. Newly appointed NHU President, Dr. David Lopez was present for the rocket launchings and congratulated each student. 

August Educational Field Trips

The Project Discovery participants are making weekly field trips in the month of August to such places as the Technology Museum, NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, the Monterey Bay Aquarium among other educational sites.

Future Plans

The Project Discovery team of Marco Antonio Cruz, Principal Investigator of the Project, Alfredo Benavides, LCPA Lead Science Teacher, Hugo Comparan, Project Discovery Project Science Advisor, and Rose Santiago, Project Assistant, and several NHU Student Mentors are busy planning next year’s activities. VIVA PROJECT DISCOVERY!

Project Discovery is a three-year project funded through the NASA PACE Program and sponsored by The National Hispanic University in collaboration with the Latino College Preparatory Academy, a public charter high school that uses a dual language immersion model for English Language Learners. For more information on the NASA Project Discovery visit  www.nhu.edu or call Marco Antonio Cruz at (408) 273-2759.

The National Hispanic University is an independent, accredited, non-profit university authorized to grant degrees since 1981.  The NHU offers degree programs in business, liberal studies, computer information systems and a credential program for elementary teachers. In addition, the University established in collaboration with the East Side Union High School District the Latino College Preparatory Academy in 2000. It is a charter high school that currently serves 300 ninth, tenth and eleventh graders who are English Language Learners.  For more information, please contact Roberto Cruz II at (408) 273-2712.