NASA program exposes teens to STEM careers

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HOUSTON, TX – Hey, teenagers: do you wanna be an astronaut or an aerospace engineer?  Well, there’s a program at NASA just for you, and it’s the first stop in your journey to new frontiers.

“High School Aerospace Scholars is a NASA unique STEM-based program that we have for Texas High School Juniors,” explained Stacey Welch, an Education Specialist at NASA.

So suit-up and start living the dream, alright? “HAS” is a two-phase program.  First, there’s a five-month online component and it’s all about space exploration: students create technical writings, drawings, solve math problems and have the opportunity to chat with NASA experts.

“And then we have the second phase,” added Welch, “the HAS on-site summer experience, here at Johnson Space Center.”

For those who qualify, this is where the magic begins.  Students are invited to spend six days at JSC. How about designing, building and programming an NXT rover, or compete in a Mars simulation course?  Sound appealing?   Whether you get to be part of the show or to watch it from a distance all depends on how dedicated you are.

“The goal of the Aerospace Scholars program is to meet NASA strategic goal of engaging our youth and students in space exploration and science, technology, engineering and math so that they will pursue academic and professional careers to enhance the workforce for later on and all of our generations to come,” said Veronica Seyl, Program Manager of NASA Aerospace Scholars.

NASA’s been running this program for nearly 15 years and many graduates have already joined the organization.  So now you know: do your homework…

“And if you do well in science courses,” said Captain Lee Morin, a NASA Astronaut. “Eventually you might even get to put on one of these white space suits, as I did, and go out and help build something like the International Space Station.”

Repeat after me, y’all: the sky is the limit.

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