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Three Shallowater Juniors Accepted into NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholars Program

Shallowater NASA Scholars

February 7, 2014

Three Shallowater High School juniors, Wes Jackson, James McGuire, and John Ryan Davis, have been accepted into NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholars program.

Kamber Smith, the school’s counselor, and Leslie Griffis, the high school science teacher and the T-STEM coordinator, notified students at the school about the program. Wes, James, and John Ryan are all interested in enrolling in a college engineering program, and all of them are interested in the space program, so they were eager to apply. With their application, they had to submit recommendations from a counselor, a teacher, and a state representative.

The students are now enrolled in a virtual classroom and learning about science and engineering, NASA, and the space program. Recent lessons have taught them about the history of rockets and space missions. For each lesson, students may read assignments, take quizzes, work on problems, create designs, and/or write reports. The group recently finished work on de-orbit burn, and they each designed a spacecraft that could go from low Earth orbit to a planet or an asteroid.

Wes, James, and John Ryan all agree that the virtual classroom is more difficult than they thought it would be. But, since all the young men plan to attend college and hope to major in engineering, they also agree that the hard work will prepare them both for college and for careers in the aerospace industry.

If they submit their courses on time and if their grades are good, the students may be invited to NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston this summer for a six-day residential summer experience. Students who attend the summer sessions will be given briefings by NASA engineers and scientists, participate in team projects and engineering activities, and tour the JSC facilities. Wes, James, and John Ryan have high hopes that they will be selected.

NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholars program is a wonderful experience for students interested in STEM careers.


Contributed by Debra Nash, Associate Director, Texas Tech T-STEM Center, Lubbock, TX