|HUD No. 00-49|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Friday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||March 10, 2000|
CUOMO ANNOUNCES HUD PARTNERSHIP WITH NASA
TO BENEFIT CHILDREN LIVING IN PUBLIC & ASSISTED HOUSING
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced that children living in HUD public and assisted housing developments in every state will be able to chat with an astronaut via the Internet on Monday from more than 500 Neighborhood Networks computer labs supported by HUD. HUD and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have worked together to set up the event.
"By using computer technology and the Internet available through HUD's Neighborhood Networks computer centers and other HUD-affiliated sites, children from around the country will be able to communicate directly with Lieutenant Colonel Michael Anderson through their computer keyboards," Cuomo said. "This opportunity will be fun for the children, and it should increase their interest in the study of science."
Anderson will share his experiences as a pilot and astronaut and what it's like to have spent over 200 hours in space. He served on the eighth Shuttle-Mir docking mission, during which the crew transferred more than 9,000 pounds of scientific equipment, logistical hardware and water from Space Shuttle Endeavour to Mir.
Anyone can participate in the computer chat session by logging onto www.neighborhoodnetworks.org, looking for the picture of Anderson and then clicking on the picture.
The goal of this HUD-NASA partnership is twofold: to create excitement about math and science for youth living in HUD housing and to help close the Digital Divide. If the response is good, with many children joining the Internet chat, HUD will continue working with NASA to schedule regular chats with NASA engineers and scientists on related topics of interest.
Neighborhood Networks is a community-based initiative that establishes computer centers in HUD-assisted and/or -insured housing complexes and often provides job training, health care, child care, transportation and educational opportunities for children and adults. More than 500 Neighborhood Networks centers are in operation in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Another 700 centers are in various planning stages.