The University of Texas-Pan American and the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) are working together to inspire the next generation of students to join the national ranks of engineers, scientists and technicians. Adena Williams Loston, Ph.D., associate administrator for Education at NASA, and she is the Senior Education Advisor responsible for structuring the new education enterprise and for guiding NASA's efforts to organize and enhance the agency's education programs. Loston addressed two hundred middle school students on Friday, May 16 and informed the students of the
"You (students) all are our national treasures and to ensure that we at NASA have more students in the sciences, NASA will pay for your entire school tuition in return for your working at NASA for the same length of time," Loston said. "There is a crisis in this country. We do not have enough engineers, scientist and technicians to fill the national need for them."
This was just one of many exciting announcements made that day. Another announcement was NASA's program, called "NASA Exploring Institutes," that will provide funding to competing museums and institutions around the country, to build interactive Exploratoriums. More information will be released in up-coming months on the NASA website.
In the question and answer session students learned that the space shuttle travels 70,500 miles per hour and can get from Houston to L.A. in six minutes; that the space program costs $13 billion or one percent of the national budget and that crew members who have died in the pursuit of knowledge did not do so in vain.
"They died leaving a legacy," Loston said. "They knew the risks, but they believed in the program and their families believe in the program. And for them we must continue."
For more information about NASA's scholarship program or NASA's Exploring Institutes program visit edspace.nasa.gov.