Students use SMART products to collaborate over distance and connect with NASA specialists
CALGARY, Alberta --- September 2, 2008 --- SMART Technologies announces its cooperation with NASA in a three-year pilot project called Global NetGeneration of Youth (NGY) Investigating the Careers of NASA International Space Station Leaders. The project is a unique education initiative currently involving three schools – the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering in Stamford, Connecticut; Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California; and Sir Winston Churchill High School in Calgary, Alberta. SMART is contributing SMART Board™ interactive whiteboards, SMART Notebook software, Bridgit™ conferencing software and technical support. The program, which begins in September, is designed to inspire students to achieve academic excellence and enter careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Using SMART products, students and teachers at all three schools will connect to form teams of NGY cyberjournalists who research and interview scientists, inventors, engineers, astronauts and policy makers affiliated with the International Space Station. There are plans to extend the program globally.
SMART products are critical to the conception of a global NGY community because they enable the link between educators, students and the unique, real-world resources of NASA’s people and facilities. Participants in the program will use the products to research subjects and create multimedia content that they will share via a variety of media, including print, radio, television and the Internet. In preparing for the program’s launch, SMART hosted the first NGY Leadership Retreat for teachers, core partners and NASA advisors at SMART’s offices in Chicago in late July. Educators from the pilot schools, along with the space advisors – Dr. Corinna E. Lathan, Dr. Lynn Bondurant and Mr. Frank Hughes – used SMART products to participate in team-building exercises, and collaborative planning and training.
“SMART’s collaborative technologies are the core tools of transformation that enable youth to investigate significant, real-world issues while communicating with peers around the world and with inspiring NASA International Space Station role models,” says Dr. Ronnie B. Lowenstein, NetGeneration of Youth’s executive director and co-principal investigator of the project. “SMART also enables these youth to practice applying the 21st-century global competencies they need to invent the future.”
"Today’s youth must be skilled in science, technology, engineering and math in order to succeed as our next generation of leaders,” says Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s CEO. “SMART products will play an integral role in the success of the Global NetGeneration of Youth project because students can interact with and learn from peers and mentors around the world.”
About NetGeneration of Youth
NetGeneration of Youth (NGY) is an inquiry- and project-based learning initiative that is designed to expand the capacity of youth as leaders in the 21st century. Launched in 1999 to foster digital empowerment of traditionally underserved populations, NGY has affiliated with school and out-of-school programs throughout the United States and overseas that are dedicated to cultivating media literacy, civic engagement and youth expression using emerging media. NGY provides real-world, civic and culturally enriching opportunities for students to serve as cyberjournalists where they communicate with inspiring decision leaders and then create multimedia presentations about their experiences that they share with peers and communities around the world. Throughout the years, NGY affiliates have expressed appreciation for the adaptability of the NGY program processes and products that not only inspire youth to achieve, but also create synergy among community stakeholders, expand public understanding and extend visibility of partner profiles, all of which foster community transformation.