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Published: Friday, 8/13/2004

Eastwood teacher to help lead JASON expedition

BY GRANT SCHULTE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The 47-year-old Eastwood teacher, a hands-on adviser to gifted and talented students, isn't sure yet. Recently selected for the JASON Expedition, an educational project for students named after the mythic figure of Argonaut fame, he will spend two weeks guiding students through projects broadcast live to classrooms around the world.

Mr. Godfrey, who leaves for the two-week journey Jan. 25, is the second local person to participate in as many years.

Four teachers and a dozen students will work alongside scientists in the Louisiana wetlands on projects that include plant habitats, moisture habitats, fishery habitats, and furry, semi-

aquatic rodents called nutria, coordinators said.

Segments of the expedition are taped live and broadcast by satellite or over the Internet.

The project, focusing on certain projects for one year, solicits scientists with direct expertise in areas the group selects, said Jude Kesl, who coordinates the gatherings.

"We try to focus on things that would translate well into things that would interest kids - science in your own back yard, so to speak," Ms. Kesl said.

The expedition marks the fifth year the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, the only library to participate, has offered the JASON project to local educators.

Since its inception, more than 15,000 students and 500 teachers from northwest Ohio have been involved with the program.

Last year, Anna-Stacia LaJewell Allen, a 13-year-old eighth grader from McTigue Junior High, traveled to Panama for JASON XV: Rainforests at the Crossroads.

The JASON Expedition was founded by Robert Ballard, an oceanographer famous for finding the remains of the doomed ocean liner Titanic and the World War II German battleship Bismarck.

Mr. Godfrey interviewed for the spot in April after submitting letters of recommendation, records documenting his experience, and application essays.

Along with transcripts and two letters of recommendations, student applicants must write two essays showing an interest in science and outlining their potential contributions to the program.

"I was very humbled and surprised to be nominated," Mr. Godfrey said. "I'm still in awe."

Awed, perhaps, but still up for the adventure. Stuck to an overhead projector in his poster-filled classroom, a small black sign read: "You can't scare me, I'm a TEACHER!"

Contact Grant Schulte at:

gschulte@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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