Green Valley, Ariz., March 19, 2002 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) today helped students in the Continental School District in Green Valley, Ariz., explore Mars and meet world-class NASA researchers via the Internet. Using a high-speed connection to the Qwest 190,000-mile global network, Green Valley sixth-graders joined students in three other states via videoconference to ask questions of scientists and explore new images from the surface of Mars.
?Live From Mars 2002,? produced by Passport to Knowledge and supported, in part, by NASA and Arizona School Services through Educational Technology (ASSET), was broadcast live today on participating PBS stations nationwide, including KAET in Phoenix and KUAT in Tucson, and was watched by more than one million students. The unique interactive distance-learning initiative featured the Mars Student Imaging Project (MSIP) sponsored by NASA; the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of the California Institute of Technology; and Arizona State University (ASU).
The program included never-before-seen images of the surface of Mars ? craters, volcanoes and more ? as well as videoconference and documentary sequences in which ?2001 Mars Odyssey? scientists and engineers at NASA?s JPL updated program viewers about the status of the spacecraft.
?High-speed Internet access is a requirement for this type of project,? said Dr. Philip E. Geiger, executive director of the Arizona School Facilities Board. ?Through our work with Qwest, Arizona is leading the nation in wiring schools, making it possible for students to learn through experience previous generations never imagined.?
?Qwest is thrilled to show that its work to wire schools throughout the state is having a direct impact on the unique educational opportunities available to students,? said Teresa Wahlert, Qwest regional vice president and vice president of policy and law for Arizona. ?The Internet is playing an increasingly valuable role in education and provides learning opportunities that simply aren?t available without it.?
In February 2001, Qwest was awarded a $100 million contract by the Arizona School Facilities Board to wire every public school in the state with Internet capabilities. This is the most aggressive initiative by any state to make broadband capabilities available to students in every school district, despite location or funding. Qwest plans to have every school wired by September 2002.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leader in reliable, scalable and secure broadband data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. The Qwest Macro Capacity® Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking equipment for speed and efficiency, spans more than 190,000 miles globally. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.
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