December 16, 2009
Earlier this month, NASA announced the launch of a joint program with the Arab Youth Venture Foundation to provide engineering students with the opportunity to work on NASA space missions. Up to 12 students will be selected annually to work on projects at the Ames Research Center in California.
This program is but one of the new science initiatives taking place throughout the Middle East, which seems to be prime location for scientific development lately. In the past 4 months alone, Saudi Arabia opened a new university for science and technology and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton announced the appointment of “Science Envoys,” whose jobs are to ramp up science and technology education in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
This new collaborative effort was formed under the Education Associates Program, which has been around since 1998 and has placed over 1,500 U.S. students in research positions at NASA. It will allow students studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering and aerospace an opportunity like no other – to work with established scientists, researchers and engineers on actual space missions.
The first students will arrive as early as January 2010 and will be awarded scholarships to cover housing and transportation expenses. NASA hopes to inspire these students to continue pursuing careers in scientific and technological development after the completion of the program. The Middle East is certainly focusing heavily on science and technology at the moment, so perhaps these students will be crucial components of this movement upon their return home.
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