Mars Virtual Field Trip: The Coolest Destination for Exchange Students

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is proud to announce a new type of virtual exchange program to engage youth around the world in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education through a virtual field trip to Mars.  The ECA Collaboratory, in partnership with NASA’s Digital Learning Network™, Google’s Connected Classrooms Program, and the U.S. Embassies in Buenos Aires and Managua, invite educators and students to the Mission Mars: Virtual Field Trip.  The virtual program will take place on Friday, April 25, 2014 from 14:00-15:00 EDT (18:00-19:00 GMT), in conjunction with the USA Science and Engineering Festival (USASEF) and in celebration of National Science Week, in an effort to attract youth around the world to pursue STEM education and careers.

Tune in to watch the live Google+ Hangout on Air webcast at: http://goo.gl/PlXUPy

About the Event

This virtual event will feature a special lesson about Mars rovers, presented by education and content experts from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, followed by a short Q&A.  They will engage with middle school students from Argentina and Nicaragua, as well from Texas, New Jersey, and Washington, DC in collaborative science-based activities.  NASA will use current photos from Mars Curiosity and its Mars Yard to simulate the field trip.  They will connect and interact via Google+ Hangout on Air, which will be streamed live for global audiences to watch and participate.

The live event will be hosted by Lisa May, the Program Executive at NASA Headquarters for the Mars Exploration program.  Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs John Feeley will deliver introductory remarks, along with Dr. Jim Green, NASA Headquarters Planetary Science Division Director.

This program also advances President Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative to increase educational exchange across the Americas.  This unique virtual exchange experience will prepare future innovators on STEM, while strengthening a new generation’s ability to reach across borders to solve problems.  Many of the Nicaraguan students are participating in the English Access Microscholarship Program, which provides a foundation of English language skills to economically disadvantaged youth.

The event will be publicly broadcast.  Tune in to watch the live Google+ Hangout on Air webcast at: http://goo.gl/PlXUPy, and ask questions via Twitter using the hashtag #MarsFieldTrip

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