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NASA kicks off Summer of Innovation program

06-11-2010 09:09 BJT

LOS ANGELES, June 10 (Xinhua) -- NASA on Thursday kicked off the agency's new Summer of Innovation initiative, a cornerstone of the Educate to Innovate campaign announced by President Barack Obama last November.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden kicked off the program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Los Angeles.

The Summer of Innovation program will engage thousands of middle school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics(STEM) during the summer months when many students experience what' s known as the "summer slide," the JPL said.

The program is a cornerstone of the Educate to Innovate campaign announced by President Obama last November.

About 250 middle school students from the Los Angeles area participated in the kickoff festivities, which included an opportunity to interact with astronauts, NASA scientists and engineers, several hands-on educational activities; and a visit to the facility where the next Mars rover is being built.

"It is wonderful to feel the excitement generated by these students as they experienced first-hand what fascinating and challenging opportunities exist for students who follow STEM career paths," said Administrator Bolden. "I hope that by getting these students involved in NASA's missions and programs now, it may pave the way for a new generation of scientists and engineers, which is critically important to our nation's future."

NASA's Summer of Innovation program is a broad, nationwide effort that will leverage partnerships with academia, industry and government, the JPL said.

This program and the agency's other education programs support NASA's commitment to excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which will play a key role in preparing, inspiring, encouraging and nurturing the nation's future work force, the JPL said.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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