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30 Sep Giant Mars Maps to educate the next generation of explorers

Clark County School District (CCSD) students from Kermit R. Booker Innovative Elementary School and Jan Jones Blackhurst Elementary school participated in an interactive presentation on Giant Mars Maps™ led by Aldrin Family Foundation’s (AFF) ShareSpace Education Executive Director Jim Christensen. The presentations were held at two of the 19 schools that will receive the 25 feet by 25 feet vinyl maps of the planet Mars as part of the AFF Giant Mars Maps™ education package.

Following a brief introduction by AFF President Andy Aldrin, CCSD Board of School Trustees members and Superintendent Jesus F. Jara, CCSD students listened and interacted with Christensen as he provided students with information on the characteristics of Mars, including the distance of Earth to Mars, the topography of the Red Planet and what traveling to Mars will look like in the future.

“Giant Mars Maps are a means for sparking creativity in kids while they sit, stand, walk, play and learn together,” said Dr. Andrew Aldrin, president of AFF. “Our aim is to put maps into the hands of schools where we think they can do the most good, especially in underserved communities. Our goal is to ensure all kids get the chance to be exposed to STEAM using the excitement of space exploration and we are proud to now expand our reach to Las Vegas by partnering with Clark County School District.”

“Community partnerships are vital for our Focus: 2024 strategic plan goal of ensuring all CCSD students are receiving an education that prepares them for the future,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara. “The Aldrin Family Foundation’s Giant Mars Maps™ and educational components will provide our educators an additional avenue to grow instruction and educational experiences in the district.”

Along with the 19 Giant Mars Maps that will be donated to CCSD schools, the partnership between CCSD, The Public Education Foundation, Desert Research Institute (DRI) and AFF will help with the creation of four traveling Giant Mars Maps™ green boxes. The DRI will house the green boxes and can be used by schools throughout the district.

“The Public Education Foundation is proud to be a leading partner with the Clark County School District, Desert Research Institute, and the Aldrin Family Foundation in strengthening STEAM education, through the magic of space exploration, within our public school classrooms,” said Judi Steele, President and CEO of The Public Education Foundation.

To view high resolution images from the event, click here.

To learn more about the Clark County School District, visit ccsd.net

About the Aldrin Family Foundation

The Aldrin Family Foundation (AFF) strives to cultivate the next generation of space leaders, entrepreneurs and explorers who will extend human habitation beyond the Earth to the Moon and Mars. AFF’s STEAM-based educational tools, curriculum and programs span from a child’s first classroom experience through graduate school and professional programs. This vertical pathway unites explorers at all levels to learn from each other’s vision for space, ultimately creating the first generation of Martians.

About ShareSpace Education

ShareSpace Education, one of the key organizations within the Aldrin Family Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating children’s passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) by providing innovative, interactive educational tools to schools, teachers and information education throughout the United States and abroad. Founded in 2016 by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, ShareSpace has reached more than 300,000 children and continues to grow its impact each year.

About The Public Education Foundation

The Public Education Foundation was founded almost 30 years ago by leaders from the public and private sectors who believed that improving our public schools was too big a task for a school district to take on alone. At any given moment, thousands of Nevada’s children, families, and educators are benefiting from resources that The Foundation has strategically invested in schools, classrooms, and communities. Our flagship programs include: leadership academies for high-achieving teachers and administrators; a collaboration with the community to award more than $2.5 million in scholarships each year; an innovative family engagement program that coaches parents how to support their children in school and also how to find employment in the community; and, the Teacher EXCHANGE, which provides much-needed school supplies and materials to teachers. Over the years, we have supported educators and pushed the system to ensure our students succeed not only in the classroom, but also in life.

For more information about The Foundation, please visit thepef.org. Follow us on Facebook @ThePublicEducationFoundation and Twitter @ThePEFtoday