WASHINGTON (April 18, 2005)–The National Geographic Society and the JASON Foundation for Education (JFE) today announced that they have signed a letter of intent for the Society to assume stewardship of the JASON Foundation for Education. The National Geographic Society was a founding national sponsor of JASON.
Officials from the two organizations have begun the due diligence process, and the transition is expected to be complete by late spring or early summer.
During the transition period, all JASON programs will proceed uninterrupted, from professional development and curriculum development and sales to activities related to the 2005-2006 school-year expedition, “Mysteries of Earth and Mars.” JFE also will continue to build the corporate, nonprofit and government partnerships that make it unique. The affiliation with National Geographic will help broaden JASON’s reach and ensure continued growth.
JFE is best-known for its JASON Project, an annual education program that engages students in inquiry-based investigations by taking them on real-life scientific expeditions. The program is widely regarded as a leading provider of experience-based science and math curricula and professional learning for grades four to nine. Its mission is to inspire a lifelong passion for learning through exploration and discovery. JASON was founded in 1989 by noted oceanographer Dr. Robert D. Ballard after his discovery of the Titanic. Ballard currently serves as one of National Geographic’s Explorers-in-Residence.
“National Geographic has had a commitment to the JASON Project since its earliest days. We admire the impact its unique blend of education, entertainment and science has had on students — instilling in them the desire to explore their world,” said Society President John Fahey. “Its work embodies many of our own mission aspirations — to increase geographic knowledge and to nurture and educate the next generation of scientists and explorers.”
“National Geographic is the perfect home for the JASON Project,” said Ballard, JASON expedition leader for 16 years. “It established the gold standard for inspiring people to explore our planet. Our mission and our work with young people can only be enhanced by stepping up to this new level in our relationship. Technology gives us new tools, National Geographic gives us new bandwidth, and the future couldn’t be brighter as a result of this wonderful development.”
“JASON is committed to continuing to build on its nearly two decades of work with teachers and students, finding new ways to excite students about their world and providing teachers with the resources they need to meet the rigorous requirements of today’s classrooms,” said Caleb M. Schutz, JFE president. “JASON’s work will complement that of National Geographic’s Education Foundation. This new relationship will broaden our reach, find more ways to reach today’s young people and ensure that JASON’s mission and vision will be uninterrupted and lasting. We are fortunate to have had the support of a fantastic board whose continued interest is important for our success.”
About National Geographic
Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations in the world. It reaches more than 280 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and its four other magazines; the National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; radio programs; films; books; videos and DVDs; maps; and interactive media. National Geographic has funded nearly 8,000 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, log on to nationalgeographic.com; AOL Keyword: NatGeo.
About JASON Foundation for Education
The JASON Foundation for Education, based in Needham, Mass., is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing new ways of teaching and new tools for learning middle-grade science and math through innovative, technology-rich educational and professional development programs. Founded in 1989, endorsed by the National Science Teachers Association, and the recipient of numerous awards, JASON fosters the joy of teaching through real-time, multimedia expeditions and curricula. Over 1.7 million students each year experience the wonder of learning in collaboration with real scientists and researchers. For more information, log onto www.jason.org.