Updated: This post links for WISH 2012 information. To apply for WISH 2013, see this post.
NASA is announcing a unique opportunity for young women who are juniors in high school with an interest in science. WISH: Women in STEM High School Aerospace scholars will become a part of a nation-wide on-line learning community and compete for a chance to spend a summer at the Johnson Space Center working with NASA engineers.
Applications— which include a letter requesting nomination from your State Senator or Representative– will be accepted through February 22nd. Selections will be made on February 23rd and girls who are chosen to participate in this NASA program will complete a series of distance-learning lessons on past, present and future space explorations. Approximately 40 girls will be selected from this cohort for a 6 day summer experience at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
The program is free and the lessons– which are aligned to state education standards–are meant to inspire girls to study science, technology and engineering. The young women will meet and interact with an on-line community of leading female STEM professionals as well as collaborate with girls from around the country with similar interests in science and technology.
Possibly the most exciting thing to me about this opportunity is that my 17 year old daughter found it and sent it to me to share on my blog. She recognized this as an excellent opportunity because she herself has gained so much from her own participation on an on-line community of young women who are interested in computer science. As a winner of National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing Award (which I will write more about in the future), she was invited to join a private on-line group of current and past winners from across the nation. She has bonded with this group and used them for support, for advice, as a sounding board for college applications, and to learn about what kinds of events happen for girls like her around the country. Having a group to turn to and socialize with — they have occasional meet-ups sponsored by NCWIT–has helped her learn invaluable networking skills that some women take years to acquire. She was very excited to find this WISH Scholars program, asked me to share it and promised she’d share it too.