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For release: 07/14/04
Release #: 04-184

College students from across U.S. explore their space and science dreams as Summer Scholars at NASA's Marshall Center

Some college students might spend the summer at the beach, recovering from exams or working part-time for spending money. But a handful of others have set their sights on fulfilling dreams of exploring space and science, and they are doing so through NASA's Summer Scholars Internship Program at the Marshall Center. It pairs minority college students majoring in science and engineering with NASA researchers and engineering mentors.


Summer vacation for some college students might include a trip to the beach, recovering from exams or working part-time for spending money. However, a handful of others have set their sights on fulfilling their dreams of exploring space and science.

They are doing so through the Summer Scholars Internship Program at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. It pairs minority college students majoring in science and engineering with NASA researchers and engineering mentors. Forty-nine students — representing Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico — are participating in the Marshall Center's 2004 Summer Scholars program, now in its 12 th year.

Sponsored by the Marshall Center's Equal Opportunity Office, the program allows students to perform research and experiments, under supervision of a mentor, document their work and make presentations on their conclusions at the end of a 10-week period. In addition to conducting research, students join in discussions with government and industry representatives to gain insight into NASA and the space program.

"There is no greater teacher than first-hand experience" said Madeline Hereford, Minority Education Outreach Programs coordinator at the Marshall Center. "Having the classroom knowledge gives you tremendous skills, but working in a real-world environment — the environment we provide these student scholars at NASA — and learning how to deal with people each day can't be learned from a textbook. It only comes from being around your peers and mentors that want to share their lives and experiences with you.

"The Summer Scholars Internship Program creates a winning environment for everyone involved. The students win, NASA wins, and the colleges and universities win," said Hereford.

To be selected for the program, students must earn a 3.0 or better grade point average out of 4.0 points and 1,200 points or better on the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Other criteria, including financial need, are determined by a student's university.

For more information about educational programs offered through the Marshall Center Equal Opportunity Office, visit its Web site at:

http://eo.msfc.nasa.gov

For more information:
News release


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