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Press Release 97-43

Sally V. Harrington
NASA Lewis Research Center
(Bus: 216/433-2037)


CLEVELAND, OH-- Five area high school students who are interning at NASA Lewis Research Center this summer will have the opportunity to share their successes and challenges with fellow NASA interns from across the country during a two-hour video conference from 2-4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22. The students, all of whom have disabilities, are participants in High School/High Tech, a collaborative career exploration program offered by United Cerebral Palsy Association (UCP) in cooperation with NASA.

The High School/High Tech program encourages students with disabilities to investigate careers in science, engineering, computer programming and other high tech fields. The program offers tours of manufacturing plants, corporate headquarters, hospital labs and research facilities; opportunities to shadow professionals at work; after school science and technology-related presentations; and summer internships locally at NASA Lewis Research Center.

The video networking session was arranged by the Johnson Space Center’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunities to introduce High School/High Tech students from six NASA facilities to one another and to give them an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences. Participating NASA sites are Ames Research Center, CA; Goddard Space Flight Center, MD; Johnson Space Center, TX; Kennedy Space Center, FL; Lewis Research Center, OH; and Marshall Space Flight Center, AL.

"Our goal is to provide students with opportunities which will encourage them to explore high-technology careers." explained Susan Dean, Ed.D., executive director of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland. "With our help, students will be better prepared to make decisions about their future."

High School/High Tech was developed to give employers a new source of skilled workers to meet the growing demand for high tech positions. The program is based on a highly successful model developed by UCP’s Maryland affiliate and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The local program is operated through UCP of Greater Cleveland, with funding from NASA, United Way Services’ Collaborative Action Fund, and the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.

"People with disabilities remain an under-utilized resource, despite the fact that they have proven to be loyal, highly productive and dependable employees. Unfortunately, the pool of technically trained employees with disabilities has remained relatively small." explained Deborah Cotleur, disability program manager for NASA Lewis Research Center. "High School/High Tech answers this need. These students have the potential to make numerous contributions throughout their academic and professional careers."

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