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|Sea Research Foundation to Manage JASON Project|
Washington, DC, Oct. 8, 2010 -- The JASON Project, an internationally recognized science program for middle-school students and an affiliate of National Geographic Society, today announced that Sea Research Foundation, Inc. has assumed management of its operation.
Founded in 1989 by oceanographer and explorer Dr. Robert D. Ballard, JASON has connected over 11 million students with scientists through classroom learning experiences and hands-on exploration. The non-profit organization, headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia, has been an affiliate of National Geographic since 2005. JASON announced earlier this year that it would transition to independence by the end of 2010. John Gersuk, Executive Vice President of JASON, said that under the new agreement JASON will be jointly governed by a board initially composed of representatives from Sea Research and National Geographic, with Ballard as chairman. Sea Research is the parent organization of Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning. A Board of Governors will be established with membership from corporate, academic and non-profit organizations that can help strengthen and grow The JASON Project.
“I want to thank the Society and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, JASON’s longtime partner, for their loyal support of The JASON Project, and Sea Research for its leadership,” Ballard said. “I believe as strongly today as when I began JASON of the need to engage students with technology and science, particularly at the start of the third millennium.”
Dr. Steve Coan, president and CEO of Sea Research, said: “This relationship greatly expands our educational reach. The JASON Project is a renowned brand and will help build Sea Research’s competencies and capabilities in digital media and informal learning across all of our divisions, including Mystic Aquarium. At the same time, JASON is gaining access to a broader international network of partners and students through Sea Research.” Coan said JASON would maintain its own brand identity and programming in a cooperative relationship with Sea Research’s Immersion Learning division.
“This new relationship strengthens and reinforces our outstanding strategic partnership with National Geographic Society, which was one of the founders of the JASON Project,” he added.
Coan, who will serve as JASON’s CEO, helped create The JASON Project and was responsible for its curriculum, teacher professional development and external relations programs for 13 years.
John Fahey, president and CEO of National Geographic Society, said: “There’s never been a better time to harness the potential of 21st century teaching tools to engage students and educators, and improve educational outcomes in the critically important areas of science, technology, engineering and math. JASON is uniquely positioned to make a meaningful contribution in the classroom, and their new relationship with Sea Research creates even more opportunities. National Geographic is proud to have played a role in JASON’s growth to date, and we’re delighted to continue to be involved in its future.”
Ballard, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, founded The JASON Project with support from the Society after his discovery of RMS Titanic prompted thousands of requests from young people around the country asking to join his next expedition.
A team was assembled in 1990 to design middle-school science curricula that would use technology to provide students with unique, immersive and highly engaging educational experiences. Since its inception, JASON has provided students and teachers around the world with a cutting-edge program available in print and online, aligned to national and state science standards and adaptable for students of all types, including mainstream, special needs and the gifted and talented.
Sea Research Foundation, a 501c3 organization, operates Mystic Aquarium, one of the world’s largest aquariums, Institute for Exploration, focused on deep ocean environments and led by Dr. Robert D. Ballard, and Immersion Learning, an after-school distance learning and digital media company. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration. www.searesearch.org
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