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For release: 12/16/03
Release #: 03-213  

Goshen High School wins grant to participate in NASA student rocketry program

A student team from Goshen High School in Goshen, Ind., has been awarded a grant of $2,500 to participate in NASA's Student Launch Initiative, designed to motivate students to pursue careers in science, math and engineering. The school will recognize the team members at a student assembly Thursday, Dec. 18.

Indiana native Dan Dumbacher, manager of NASA's X-37 flight demonstrator program, and a representative from the Education Programs Department at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will be on hand for the presentation.

The Student Launch Initiative allows teams of high school students to experience hands-on, practical aerospace and engineering projects similar to what they would find in a professional environment. Under the guidance of engineers at the Marshall Center, students design, build and launch a rocket as a first step toward the goal of ultimately flying to an altitude of 1 mile.

"Giving students the hands-on experience of building rockets can open their minds to a variety of new ideas," said Dumbacher. "The students in school now will be the ones who design and build the next generation of vehicles years down the road. This can be their first step in that direction."

Goshen High School finished in the top three of the Team America Rocketry Challenge held earlier this year in The Plains, Va., Goshen's top three finish secured the high school a place in the Student Launch Initiative program.

This school year's Student Launch event, set for spring 2004, will feature Goshen and five other teams launching their rockets.

"A real need exists for young people to get excited about careers in science and engineering, and we think the Student Launch Initiative can help," said Jim Pruitt, manager of the Marshall Education Programs Department. "It provides actual work experience in an engineering environment, and this exposure could inspire the students to be our next generation of explorers."

For more information about the Student Launch Initiative or other NASA Education programs, please visit these Web sites:

For more information:
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Martin Jensen
Public Affairs Office
(256) 544-0034

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