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NASA celebrates 50th anniversary with NZ students


NASA celebrates 50th anniversary with NZ students

An Auckland school has won the opportunity to wish US space agency NASA a happy 50th Anniversary via a live video conference at 8am, Friday 14 November, 2008.

Sunderland School and College in Henderson, Auckland, is the only school outside of the USA taking part in the live video conference. Their participation in the link up is enabled by Telecom and Asnet Technologies.

The students will speak with the Stennis Space Centre in Mississippi, one of NASA’s ten field centers, and with students from Aberdeen Middle School in Mississippi.

During the 30 minute video link up, both schools will have the opportunity to ask questions of the NASA representatives. Sunderland School and College will also perform a waiata to commemorate NASA’s 50th Anniversary.

“Our students are thrilled to represent New Zealand and to speak directly with NASA, says Sunderland School and College Principal Kent Favel.

“Being able to take part in this video conference so soon after building and programming their own space exploration robots, will ensure our students’ curiosity for science remains for a lifetime.”

Asnet Technologies organized the New Zealand-wide schools competition with Telecom’s support after an invitation was extended by the US Distance Learning Association and NASA.

Telecom is providing the video conference connection through its SchoolZone support programme, and will continue to provide the video conference connection free for one year, and Asnet Technologies will give Sunderland School a Polycom High Definition video conference system to keep.

“Video conferencing is one of the best ways that broadband is being used in the classroom to enrich the learning experience for students, says Victoria Crone from Telecom.

“Being able to talk to NASA, almost like the scientists and engineers are in the next room, is such a great way for students in New Zealand to feel more connected to the rest of the world.”

“We’re delighted to provide the technology and enable one space-mad school to participate in NASA’s 50th birthday event,” says Chris Stewart General Manager of Asnet Technologies.

“We hope they use the video conferencing technology for many more exciting global virtual opportunities.”


Background Information

Telecom SchoolZone is a secure, high speed internet service specifically designed for New Zealand schools. The complete package includes router, firewall, email server, a content filtering service, spam filtering, virus scanning services, website hosting and video conference connections, all for a monthly price.

For more information visit:

asnet Technologies is New Zealand’s leading provider of real-time video and voice communications, and manages the video conference services for almost 300 schools and tertiary institutions via the Ministry of Education’s Polycom bridge. Many of these schools use Polycom video conferencing daily, for distributed classes and for virtual visits to registered content providers such as NASA.

For more information visit:

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