Letter to the Editor

Federal funding expands scope of NASA center

Friday, February 6, 2004

To the editor:

Students and parents in Missouri owe U.S. Sen. Kit Bond a great deal of gratitude. More than most, he is aware that we are living in a complex world society that is becoming increasingly technology-based and science-oriented. It is his vision that Missouri K-12 students, both public and private, be prepared to face that future. His objective is to provide all students with a background that will allow them to function successfully in that future. Much of his effort involves the Missouri National Aeronautics and Space Administration Education Program.

Opening in 1999, Missouri's NASA Educator Resource Center is located at Southeast Missouri State University. The center makes available to K-12 schools, teachers and students throughout Missouri a variety of free educational and instructional materials related to science, mathematics and technology education.

While teachers and students outside Southeast Missouri have access to all NASA materials, in the past they have not been able to benefit due to distance. Thanks to Bond, that will no longer be the case. As a result of funding secured by the senator, full-time NASA educators will be established this spring in St. Louis, Columbia and Kansas City. Two additional sites will be established in the fall.

Bond has secured $3.3 million in federal funds for the NASA center in Cape Girardeau and for the five extension sites. I applaud Bond for caring enough about the future of the children of Missouri to make this a reality.

DR. ERNEST L. KERN

Director

Missouri NASA Education Program

Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau