Friday, January 5, 2001

PeachStar and JASON XII Bring You Hawaii

This month, you can explore the Hawaiian islands live via PeachStar with Dr. Bob Ballard and his team of JASON Project researchers and Argonauts. It's the latest installment in the popular series of JASON Project interactive electronic field trips.

The JASON XII team chose Hawaii for the 2001 expedition site because of the "living laboratory" aspect of the islands, where researchers and participants are able to the study the elements of the natural world first hand. Viewers will experience Hawaii from a multidisciplinary perspective, including island geology, climate, biology and culture. Using volcanoes as the main theme of the project, the explorers will investigate this dynamic process both on the land and in the sea. The researchers will compare the volcanic process with other events throughout the solar system. They will also examine how the unique geology and climate of Hawaii have given rise to a distinct biology, featuring a remarkable array of endemic species. In addition, the team will explore characteristics of the Hawaiian culture and its native people.

For the first time, one of Dr. Ballard's Argonauts is a Georgia student. Timothy Trout from Greenbrier Middle School in Columbia County will join the explorers on the expedition. His enthusiastic perspective on the natural world will add a great deal to the team. "Underwater exploration, in my opinion, is one of the most fascinating areas of science. There are so many unusual plants and animals and such beautiful colors there. Everything seems to move with the same rhythm. Even the shells that are thousands of years old add to the picture of the underwater world. Discovering a new species would be equally exciting," stated Trout in his application to the JASON Foundation for Education.

The JASON Project offers students and teachers in grades 4 through 9 a comprehensive, multimedia approach to enhance teaching and learning in science, technology, math, geography and associated disciplines. The project delivers its educational content through a print curriculum, videos, fully interactive Internet programming and live satellite "telepresence" broadcasts. The mission of the JASON Foundation for Education, founded in 1990 to administer the program, is to excite and engage students in science and technology. The program also strives to motivate teachers and provide them with professional development. Dr. Ballard founded the JASON Project in 1989 after receiving thousands of letters from school children wanting to know how he discovered the wreck of the RMS Titanic.

You can view the live JASON broadcast on PeachStar's Channel 420, January 29 - February 9, Monday thru Friday at 10 AM, 11:30 AM, 1 PM, 2:30 PM and 4 PM daily. For more information on the JASON Project, visit the National Science Center web site.