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April 2002

Release Date: April 10, 2002

ASU Receives Grants for Prefreshman Engineering Program

Angelo State University's College of Sciences has received two grants totaling $27,500 to continue the Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program (TexPREP) this year and into 2003.

The Sid Richardson Foundation awarded ASU $24,000 and the State of Texas provided $3,500 to the university which implemented TexPREP to help junior high and high school students interested in engineering careers.

Dr. Fred L. Wilson, TexPREP director at ASU, said the highly successful program is actively recruiting students to participate in the 2002 program this summer, June 3-July 26. Because of these grants and an ongoing partnership between ASU and the San Angelo Independent School District, the program is offered free to area participants.

The grants provide for equipment, field trips and a major part of the staffing costs for the program. Up to 50 students will be able to participate this summer at no cost, though they will have to provide their luncheons and their own transportation to and from ASU.

TexPREP operates in 13 Texas cities, including Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Lubbock and Amarillo. San Angelo was the largest city to receive funding from Sid Richardson for TexPREP.

"Young people participating in this program will have a great summer," Wilson said. "Yes, they will be working very hard in mathematics, solving engineering design problems, even leadership and technical writing. But they will also have fun doing it, learning from people in technical fields actually doing the work they are learning about."

The summer program theme is "Mission to Mars." Participants will use information from the NASA Mars program to design and carry out projects aimed toward explaining the planet. Selected students will go to Houston to interview the robotics designers at NASA. All participants will work on robotics designs that might solve a problem NASA is working on. Other participants will go to the McDonald Observatory to observe Mars and learn from professional astronomers.

"Thanks to these grants and our partnership with SAISD, we will offer first-, second-, and third-year activities for our area young people," Wilson said.

Those interested in more information or in applying for the program should contact the TexPREP office at 942-2024 or 223-9325.