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NASA offers internships for Tico high school students

February 24, 2014

Two Costa Rican high school seniors will have the opportunity to spend two weeks learning alongside astronauts and other scientists at the Johnson Space Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Houston, Texas.

The internship is part of a NASA program called Space School that promotes vocations within the aerospace industry, and Costa Rica is the only Central American country eligible. The application period begins this week and ends March 7.

The project is organized by the Asociación Estrategia Siglo 21 and chaired by former Tico astronaut and scientist Franklin Chang, said the association’s spokeswoman Diana Alvarado.

To qualify for a full scholarship, students must be high school seniors between the ages of 15 and 17. A full command of English and average grades of 90 or more in physics, math and chemistry is mandatory. Applicants also are required to demonstrate leadership and communication skills, along with the ability to work as part of a team.

Those interested in applying for the internship must submit a 500-word essay in English expressing their interest, stating their purpose in applying and explaining how Costa Rica will benefit from their participation. The application must be attached to two letters of recommendation highlighting academic performance and personal skills.

The scholarship includes airfare, departure taxes, hosting, tuition and all participation expenses.

Classes will be held at the University of Houston–Clear Lake campus, located next to the Johnson Space Center.

Only printed applications will be accepted at the Franklin Chang building, located 1.5 kilometers north of the U.S. Embassy in Pavas, west of San José.

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