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Sonja Alexander
Headquarters, Washington

Jenna Mills
Johnson Space Center, Houston

Nov. 2, 2007
NASA Selects USRA to Lead National Education Internship Project
HOUSTON - NASA has selected the Universities Space Research Association of Columbia, Md., to lead the agency's Undergraduate Student Research Project (USRP). The project is a national comprehensive educational initiative designed to provide real-world experience to science, technology, engineering and math students across all 50 states and U.S. territories.

The cooperative agreement will have a maximum value of $17 million over five years. The USRP will provide hands-on internships to undergraduates pursuing academic degrees that align with NASA's critical workforce competency needs. The internships will include mentors who are NASA scientists and engineers.

The project provides students with challenging technical experiences that enhance their academic pursuits and align with NASA's workforce development strategy.

Benefits of this type of experiential learning and mentorship include increased graduation rates, completion of advanced degrees and career placement within the field of study. Students who participate in similar internship programs often graduate with a higher grade point average and demonstrate increased productivity immediately upon entering the workforce.

Through this agreement, NASA seeks to extend and strengthen its commitment to educational excellence and university research while highlighting the critical need to increase the nation's undergraduate and graduate science, technology, engineering and math skills base.

For information about NASA's education programs, visit:

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