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 DETROIT, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Althea Smith, a Detroit teacher from Beaubien Middle School, is spending two weeks of her summer vacation with AT&T (NYSE: T) managers, AT&T Bell Laboratories scientists and other educators to explore how new technologies will affect their classrooms and their lives.
 Smith is among 48 science and math teachers from 16 states who are participating in the first annual AT&T Teachers & Technology Institute, a two-week educational program from July 18-30, aimed at enhancing the skills of the nation's math and science teachers. Smith will return to Detroit Aug. 1 full of innovative ideas and experiences from her visit to Bell Labs to share with her students at Beaubien Middle School.
 Smith was named by Michigan Gov. John Engler as one of three Governor's Fellows from Michigan to attend the program.
 One of the program's highlights was the July 26 meeting with Arno Penzias, a 1978 Nobel Prize winner and vice president of research at Bell Labs. Smith and the other teachers met with Penzias in Holmdel, N.J., at the site of the Horn antenna. This ultra-sensitive radio antenna was used by Penzias and another Bell Labs scientist, Robert Wilson, in their discovery of the background radiation from the "big bang" -- the explosion which created the universe about 20 billion years ago.
 "Knowledge is a fundamental resource," said Penzias. And, like any other resource, we must invest in it. The chief way to invest in knowledge is through education."
 When asked what he would like to see in today's science classrooms, Penzias said, "I'd like to see more teachers using interactive video to share in the experiences and knowledge of the world's best scientists."
 The AT&T Teachers & Technology Institute kicked off in Somerset, N.J., July 19 with a welcome from Robert E. Allen, chairman of AT&T.
 "It is your contributions that bring you here," Allen said to the teachers. "It is your imagination that we hope to engage here. And it is a heightened awareness of the importance not only of your profession but also of your students that we hope you will take from here.
 "Together we can embark on an animated and continuous conversation between business and the classroom," Allen said. "One that gives life to what we at AT&T have long held: that communication is the beginning of understanding."
 Smith is attending a variety of educational workshops on emerging communications and computing technologies, and participating in exercises on teaching techniques and tools, including quality management, distance learning and unleashing personal creativity. In addition to visits to Bell Labs, Smith also visited the AT&T Network Operations Center.
 The AT&T Teachers & Technology Institute has captured the imagination of the teachers and given team insights into innovative teaching techniques.
 "We hope to bring something home to our students that will be of lasting value, something that will make them as excited to be in our classes as we are to be here at Bell Labs, something that will light a fire in their bellies and make them greedy to learn more, to work harder, to think deeper, to strive for constant and never-ending improvement," said Colleen Kozumplik, a physics and biology teacher at Loretto High School in Sacramento, Calif.
 The AT&T Teacher & Technology Institute is entirely funded by AT&T. Its purpose is to offer science and math teachers the opportunity and challenge to work on their own visions of the future. The program is among a broad range of educational programs sponsored by AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, the company's philanthropic unit.
 Over the next three years, middle and high school teachers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will compete for the opportunity to participate in the AT&T Teachers & Technology Institute. Governors and the District's mayor will select winners from candidates screened by a panel of experts from AT&T.
 States participating in the program this year are Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennslvania and Virginia.
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 /CONTACT: Mark Trierweiler of AT&T, 313-262-4960, or home, 313-229-0092/

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 29, 1993

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