LU News Archive

LU, JASET host famed science explorer Dr. Robert Ballard Jan. 31

On Tuesday, Jan. 31, Dr. Robert Ballard will share his adventures and scientific discoveries with more than 8,500 students, teachers and community members in the Montagne Center during a program hosted by the Jason Alliance of Southeast Texas.

In addition to meeting Ballard, the students will learn about forces and motion. Stars in this year’s 30-minute video program are Lamar University faculty members Joe Pizzo and George Irwin, experts from the Texas General Land Office Oil Spill Prevention and Response team, and the National Weather Service Office in Lake Charles, La. NWS meteorologists will demonstrate the forces at work in the formation of tornadoes.  In addition to the Jan. 31 program, another 2,000 students will experience the program Feb. 1-3 and Feb. 6 in the John Gray Center.

The Jason Alliance of Southeast Texas (JASET) was formed 10 years ago in an effort to support the Jason Project. The Jason Project was founded in 1989 by Ballard and is a subsidiary of National Geographic. Ballard is well known for his discovery of the Titanic. After his unique find, there were adults and children alike wishing they could see what he was exploring.  Ballard started using technology called telepresence videos to show students what he was seeing when he was exploring. This eventually evolved into designing a curriculum based around his exploration. The math and science curriculum is designed for students in the 4th-8th grades.

JASET was established in 2001 in a cooperative effort with Lamar University, local chambers of commerce, diverse members of industry and local school districts to bring hands-on science of the JASON Project to Southeast Texas 4th-8th grade students. Campuses of the Texas School for the Deaf were added soon after starting up. JASET encourages community support in order to pay the curriculum for each classroom. With the support of local business, more than 22,000 students are touched every year and some 220 teachers trained in the curriculum.