Thursday, July 22, 2010

44 Idaho Students Selected to Attend Idaho Science and Aerospace Academy

More than 40 Idaho high school students have been selected to participate in the first-ever Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Summer Academy this August.

At the Summer Academy, these students from across Idaho will have the unprecedented opportunity to design a human mission to Mars alongside NASA officials and Idaho experts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The event is a part of the Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Program, a competitive program that challenges Idaho high school juniors to take an engaging online course developed by NASA during the school year and compete to attend a residential Summer Academy where they work on projects with scientists and engineers from NASA and across Idaho.

“The Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Summer Academy is an exciting opportunity for Idaho high school students to gain hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering and mathematics from the best in the industry,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said. “This is an example of the opportunities I have worked to create for Idaho students since taking office, and we need to provide more of them across our state.”

Superintendent Luna worked with former astronaut and Distinguished Educator in Residence at Boise State Barbara Morgan to develop the Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Program in 2009, with additional support from partners Boise State University, Idaho Digital Learning Academy, Discovery Center of Idaho, Micron Foundation, Hewlett-Packard, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Air National Guard, University of Idaho and Idaho State University.

The State Department of Education funded the initial pilot year of the project.

“Engaging the next generation in research and opening their eyes to the possibilities of STEM is a priority at Boise State, and this program is an outstanding extension of our mission,” Morgan said. “I am proud of our Idaho State Department of Education for taking the lead and inspired by the collaboration among so many dedicated people in business, industry, government and education that is making this opportunity possible.”

This year, 73 students participated in the online portion of the Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Program. Of those, 44 were selected to attend the Summer Academy based on their performance.

The Summer Academy will be held August 1-7 at Boise State, Micron Technology and the Discovery Center of Idaho as well as the NASA Ames Research Center in California. During the academy, students will attend presentations given by NASA astronauts and work in teams to create space robots and land missions for rockets.

Based on the program’s initial success, NASA awarded a $1.2 million grant to the State Department of Education to expand the program to serve 400 students over the next two years.

The following is the list of the 44 students selected to attend the inaugural Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Summer Academy and their hometown:

Garrison Cox - Ammon
Sean Anderson – Boise
Zachary Funke - Boise
Victoria Gunning – Boise
Jared Hand - Boise
Corbin Hennen – Boise
Samuel Jones - Boise
Scott McKenzie - Boise
Kelsey Nelson - Boise  
Abigail Sevier – Boise
Jonathan Ung - Boise
Patrick Yang – Boise
Marquina Araquistain - Caldwell
Zachary Howard - Caldwell
Savannah Kisling – Caldwell
Taylor Loosli - Chester 
Gerhart Suppiger IV - Cocolalla
Luke Phipps – Fruitland
Jarod Armenta - Homedale 
Jonathan Stacey - Homedale    
Connor Hall - Idaho Falls
Michael Rynders - Idaho Falls
Kayla Evans - Kooskia   
Shad Jensen - Marsing
Tyler Clark - Meridian
Dillon Irminger – Meridian
Garrett Mick – Meridian
Zachariah Steiner – Meridian
Anna Harris – Moscow
Nathanial Davis - Nampa
LaCinda Villanueva – Nampa
Sheldon Brown - Paul
Nicholas Johnson - Potlatch
Alyssa Miller – Potlatch
Forrest Potter – Potlatch    
Steven Hallgren – Rathdrum
Ryan Moeller – Rexburg
Daniel Durand – Richfield
Nicholas Long – Rupert
Cody Race - Shoshone
Amanda Olsen - Shoshone  
Nicholas Cordell - St. Maries
Tyrnee Nakano - Stites
Lindsey Rush - Victor

~ Melissa M.

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