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Mon, Mar 29, 2010

NASA Partners With Idaho For New Student Aerospace Program

Pilot Program For High School Juniors To Participate In NASA Curriculum

NASA has partnered with the Idaho State Department of Education to implement the Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Program, replicated after Texas High School Aerospace Scholars. This will be its pilot year.

"The Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Program is a significant educational opportunity for Idaho students," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Luna. "I applaud NASA for creating this program and for allowing Idaho to replicate it. The program will reinforce the lessons students are learning in the classroom and demonstrate the relevance of science, technology, engineering and math skills in the 21st century."

Last spring, former astronaut and educator Barbara Morgan asked NASA to present the opportunity to Idaho state, community and education leaders. Idaho State Department of Education stepped forward to lead the endeavor. Idaho is the third state to partner with NASA. Washington and Virginia also have partnered with NASA and applied the program for their students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related fields.

Barbara Morgan

The program will allow Idaho high school juniors to engage in an online course developed by NASA that focuses on STEM. Students will compete for a chance to participate in a weeklong summer activity to develop a mission to Mars along with Idaho scientists and engineers.

Seventy-three students are enrolled in the online course and 44 will participate in the summer activity at Boise State University and NASA Ames Research Center in California.

"NASA is excited to unite with our friends in Idaho and support efforts to provide a proven STEM opportunity," said Linda Smith, NASA Aerospace Scholars Program manager.

Texas High School Aerospace Scholars started in 1999 and was created through a partnership with the state of Texas and Johnson Space Center and last year celebrated its 10th anniversary. With this program, NASA continues the agency's tradition of investing in the nation's educational programs. It is directly tied to the agency's major education goal of attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines critical to NASA's future missions.

FMI:  http://aerospacescholars.jsc.nasa.gov/

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