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Friday May 29th, 2009

Shuttle Camp Partners With NM GEAR UP

Free Scholarships Available In Several Communities

The New Mexico Museum of Space History's popular Shuttle Camp Program has partnered with the Department of Higher Education's NM GEAR UP initiative to provide free scholarships to rising 10th graders in several communities across the state. Students going into the 10th grade this fall who attend one of the following high schools are eligible to receive these free scholarships: Tularosa, Hatch, Belen, Lovington, Portales, Los Lunas, Valencia, Gadsden, Chaparral, Santa Teresa, Deming and Socorro. The scholarships pay for students to attend a full week of Shuttle Camp at the Museum, including room, board and supplies.

"We are very excited to be working with the Shuttle Camp program again this year. Last summer we sent a relatively small group of students to the camp and they had such a great time that we decided to expand the program at the museum," said Ricky Serna, NM GEAR UP Central Region Coordinator. A total of 400 residential scholarships are available for students from the designated schools. "Although the camp is filling up, we want to make sure that all the students who wish to attend have the opportunity," said Serna.

"Our partnership with NM GEAR UP is very appropriate for Shuttle Camp. It has always been our mission to educate the students of our state to instill in them the desire to go on to college and succeed," said Randall Hayes, NM Museum of Space History Director.

The weeks set aside for GEAR UP students at Shuttle Camp are June 7 – 12, June 14 – 19, July 19-24 and July 26 – 31. Students arrive on Sunday and return home on Friday afternoon. Parents are encouraged to come early on Friday to watch the graduation ceremony and rocket launches.

At Shuttle Camp, hands on learning, team building concepts and immersive educational experiences combine to inspire students to achieve and succeed. Cadets are exposed to a wide range of career opportunities in fields ranging from engineering, rocketry and meteorology to robotics, computer science and videography.

NM GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to increase the number of students who graduate from high school prepared to complete the college program of their choice. NM GEAR UP's mission is to increase the number of New Mexico students who prepare, access, enroll, smoothly transition and complete the university, college and career-technical programs of their choice by optimizing federal, state, and private resources.

Rising 10th grade students who attend the participating high schools and who wish to apply for the NM GEAR UP scholarships for Shuttle Camp should contact the Education Department at the Museum of Space History. The direct phone number is 575-437-2840 ext. 41132.