WINSTON/MARION - Rep. Tracy Estes (R-Winfield), has announced middle school students in House District 17 - which includes Haleyville, Double Springs and Bear Creek - may apply for one of two scholarships to attend space camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.
Officially known as Space Academy for Leading Students in Alabama (SALSA), the annual event will be held May 24-29, 2020, with a graduation ceremony scheduled for the final day of the week-long event. However, the application deadline to earn a scholarship to attend is Jan. 31, 2020.
“As we did last year, we are attempting to make information about the camp available to the public as quickly as possible,’’ said Estes. “I want all who are interested to have the time needed to research the information and complete the application process.’’
Attendance to the prestigious camp is free, as the Alabama Legislature provides the funding necessary to cover all tuition costs for two students from each of the state’s 140 legislative districts. There are 105 members of the Alabama House of Representatives and 35 members of the Senate.
The camp is open to students ages 12-14. Interested persons are required to complete the application process online. Lawmakers will be informed in February which students have been selected from each district to attend. A male and female student from each district will be selected.
The program is designed to promote further interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Scholarships provided to the selected students will cover the cost of meals, lodging, a space camp T-shirt and an official flight suit. Travel to and from the camp is not provided.
Persons wishing to learn more about the camp should visit: www.spacecamp.com/salsa. Brochures may be downloaded at spacecamp.com/docs/2020/SALSA2020Brochure.pdf. The official application form may be found at spacecamp.fluidreview.com.
“I would encourage all middle school students who are interested to apply,’’ Estes said. “This is such a wonderful opportunity for students with an interest in our space program, mathematics or science. How many opportunities do our students have to attend a camp of this nature at no cost? This is a wonderful use of our tax dollars—creating and nurturing our students’ interest in higher-level thinking and future exploration.’’
Estes, who represents Marion County and portions of Winston and Lamar counties, also reminded students in his district of another important point.
“Space camp represents a unique opportunity for our students across the district,’’ Estes said. “I have friends whose children have attended Space Camp and used the knowledge gained there to eventually pursue careers in aerospace and other similar sciences. I hope our students will use this opportunity to start their own careers and chase their own dreams.
“Opportunities such as these can be a reminder to our students that those who live in a small community can achieve great things. I want our students to never be fearful to pursue the highest of goals. I have full confidence our district will provide two outstanding candidates for this program.’’
Last year, Estes worked with officials at the space and rocket center to secure six seats for students in his district, as not every legislative district filled its allotment. The lawmaker will be working to do the same this year, but the legislator stressed he could not guarantee more than the two seats set aside for his district.
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See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.