WASHINGTON (June 14, 2010)—The National Geographic Society announced today that The JASON Project, a nonprofit entity that creates nationally renowned and award-winning middle-school science curricula, will transition from its current status as a subsidiary of the Society to full independence over the next few months. The transition should be completed no later than Sept. 30, 2010.
“National Geographic assumed stewardship of The JASON Project in 2005, when a changing technology and funding environment demanded a new business model. Our objective has always been to provide the JASON team with the resources and support required to stabilize and reorganize, with the goal of returning them to independence. Happily, that time has come, and with National Geographic’s continued support in the transition process, JASON is well positioned to further extend its reach and expand its partner network,” said National Geographic’s Executive Vice President for Mission Programs Terry Garcia. “We expect this transition to be seamless and believe JASON is now fully empowered to take its work to the next level without missing a step.”
“All of us at JASON are grateful to the National Geographic Society for the support and encouragement it has provided these last few years, and we are delighted that its involvement will continue as we move forward, working to motivate and inspire students to pursue interests and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” added Caleb Schutz, who continues as president of The JASON Project.
“I want to thank the Society for its loyal support of The JASON Project over the last 22 years,” said Dr. Robert D. Ballard, JASON’s founder and chief scientist. “JASON remains a strong passion of mine, since I have seen how many young students have been deeply affected by its unique approach to experiential learning, and I plan to continue supporting it in years to come.”
At the close of the transition, JASON’s board of trustees will include John Fahey, president and CEO of the National Geographic Society, Ballard and Schutz, with new board members likely to be named over time. JASON’s offices will remain on the Ashburn, Va., campus of The George Washington University.
Formerly known as The JASON Foundation for Education, The JASON Project was founded in 1989 by Ballard, a globally recognized oceanographer and a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, after his discovery of the Titanic prompted thousands of requests from young people around the country asking to join his next expedition. A dedicated 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 reached more than 11 million students around the world — in rural and urban settings — with a cutting-edge program available in print and online, aligned to national and state education standards and adaptable for students of all types, including mainstream, special needs and the gifted and talented.