San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

December 15th, 2009
SMHS student bound for NASA

1nasaSan Marcos High School Principal Michelle Darling with NASA scholar Ty Stonecipher.


The National Aeronautics and Space Association (NASA) recently  selected San Marcos High School junior Ty Stonecipher to participate in its High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) program.  Stonecipher was nominated for the program by Texas State Representative Patrick Rose.

HAS program manager Jessica Cekja said Stonecipher was chosen based on the criteria of his GPA, extracurricular activities and his interest in math science and engineering.

“It is an honor for Ty Stonecipher to participate in this NASA program,” Cekja said.

The HAS program has two phases. The first is online lessons in the spring, the second is the summer internship program. The lessons cover the space shuttle, space station, the moon, and Mars. During the school year, Stonecipher will complete ten web-based lessons beginning this month and are due every two weeks. The assignments include reading online curriculum, writing essays, designing upgrades to be used on the Shuttle and the International Space Station, solving math problems, and taking online quizzes.

During the summer, Stonecipher and other scholars will attend a six-day summer internship at the Johnson Space Center. There they will tour the facility and attend briefings by astronauts, engineers and other NASA experts.The students will be mentored by NASA engineers and participate in hands-on engineering activities. They will even take a crack at designing a human mission to Mars.

SMHS Principal Michelle Darling said, “San Marcos High School is thrilled that Ty has earned this opportunity, and we have every confidence that he will excel.”

After completing the summer internship, HAS students may be granted a science elective credit by the school district that would count towards graduation based on the Scientific Research and Design course developed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

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