Our Three Days in Washington D.C. Begin...

Click on the small image to see it full sized.

There is much anticipation as participants arrive in Washington. Two teachers from each of the fifty states has been selected to attend the Mars Teacher Training Workshop.

As we check in at the hotel, some of us began to put faces with names we had met only online.

During the afternoon, participants were guests of I.B.M.

To the left, Cheick Diarra addresses group; and

on the right an I.B.M. executive addresses the group.

Kathy Walsh of IBM
explains the
"Virtual City"
Janet Caldon, IBM
discusses advances
in technology
...and everyone did a lot of chatting

After the reception at I.B.M., participants were shuttled to the National Academy of Sciences

The following is a summary of the Public Lecture at the National Academy of Sciences, July 18

by: Ralph Hudson, a teacher from Vermont

Donna Shirley, Pathfinder project manager, welcomed the participants to the discussion on Mars exploration and the future of NASA in space exploration.
Chris McKay, an astrogeophysicist from NASA Ames described the importance of Mars as a subject of planetary exploration. Mars is interesting in part because its surface shows water channels and other evidence of having an early evolution as a planet similar to earth

In 1976 the Viking spacecraft investigated the Martian surface. A claw was unilized to sample the surface and a mini-laboratory analyzed the soil for evidence of life. The results were inconclusive, but as Chris pointed out, we had reached across space to another planet and grasped out for understanding its importance as a harbinger of life. This critical event changed his life, and he has worked to understand life's origins here and in space.

NASA Director Dan Goldin focused on how NASA would use the vision of "faster, better, cheaper" to accomplish the dreams of Mars enthusiasts. His vision for NASA has cooperation with other countries and smart, small and frequent explorers as its cornerstone.

Probes could be launched more frequently and for less by the start of the next millenium. His vision was apparent as he teased Donna Shirley about moving up her schedule to return a sample from Mars to Earth by 2002.

Questions were taken and many focused around the importance of preserving the planet during exploration. All three presenters emphasized NASA's efforts to make information available via the Internet to schools and children.

A resolution was read honoring Carl Sagan on the 20th anniversary of Viking's landing and recognizing his work for our understanding of our place in the cosmos.

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This NASA K-12 Internet Initiative Web page was last updated on August 6, 1996.