U.S.-Soviet Science-Education Conference Slated
Washington--Some 500 science educators from the United States will travel to Moscow next summer to hold a joint conference with their Soviet counterparts, the National Science Teachers Association has announced.
The convention, to be held July 27 through Aug. 7, 1991, under the auspices of the nsta and the Soviet Academy of Sciences, is one of the largest joint education initiatives yet undertaken between the two su4perpowers.
In addition to fostering communication on common problems in science education, the project is expected to help Soviet educators organize into a group similar to the nsta, said Bill G. Aldridge, that organization's executive director.
"They don't have a convention," he said. "We're going to help them form a science-teachers' association while we're there."
The 500 Soviet participants in the joint conference, Mr. Aldridge said, would form the "core" of the new association, and their registration fees would become the foundation for the group's treasury.
In addition to the three-day conference, which will be held at Moscow State University, the package for American participants will also include tours of Moscow and the Kremlin, the executive director added. The nsta will also sponsor, for interested participants, a trip to Leningrad and Peterhoff, and another to Baikonur and Rostov-Veliky.
The trip to Baikonur, the U.S.S.R.'s space center, will mark the first time the facility has been open to American visitors, Mr. Aldridge said.
In a related development, Soviet and U.S. officials this month announced the creation of a joint university.
Unveiled here during the summit meeting between Presidents Bush and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the university will at first consist of a group of faculty members from each country, who will teach at universities in the other country.
"They need professors of economics, business administration, and computer sciences," said Mr. Aldridge, who is a member of the university's joint Soviet-American board of trustees. "We need people in Slavic languages and cultures and in applied sciences."
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., have tentatively agreed to host the Soviet educators, according to Mr. Aldridge.
Eventually, he said, the trustees plan to create independent campuses in Washington and Moscow that will enroll students and grant degrees.