“HAS is an interactive online learning experience for high school juniors in Texas. Selected students are nominated by their State Legislator, have an interest in math, science, engineering or computer science, and are encouraged to pursue high tech careers. Participation is highlighted by a six-day experience at the Johnson Space Center.”
We live in Texas and heard about this program from a friend of a friend. My oldest daughter planned to major in engineering, so this was a perfect fit for her. We heard about this program right before her junior year; she started the application process right away.
While the requirement to be nominated by your State Legislator may seem to be an obstacle, it is not. The application process includes a letter the student writes to the State Legislator asking to be nominated. All the information for applying can be found at the website.
Once accepted to the program, the student is committing to a semester long learning experience. Students participate in distance learning activities that include reading, research, short essays, quizzes, and online discussions.
Students who complete all the assignments participate in a week long, all expense paid experience at NASA.
This is an excerpt of the report my daughter wrote after her time at NASA:
“After the lessons were completed, I participated in a week-long program at the Johnson Space Center. During the week, students were divided into four teams of approximately ten students each, which worked together on different aspects of designing a manned mission to Mars. My team was in charge of working on Mars. The other three teams were Getting There, Living There, and Mission Control. We also toured various NASA facilities, such as the International Space Station mock-up, Shuttle Simulator, Mission Control Center, and the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory; heard presentations by NASA employees such as astronauts and department supervisors; and completed hands-on projects, such as launching a rocket, creating an egg lander, and building a rover. Some of the highlights of the week for me included a presentation on robotics and tours of the Shuttle Simulator and Bio Labs.”
If a student completes the whole program, they can earn a science elective credit.
If you have a student interested in any of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects, don’t miss this opportunity.
While researching this article, I discovered that Idaho, Virginia, and Washington also offer this program. Check this website for more details. http://www.aerospacescholars.org/programs/state
There is also a Community College Aerospace Scholars Program. This would be ideal for the student who is too old for the High School program, but still has an interest in the program.