Nominated by their state legislator, Saenz has been selected as one of 270 high school juniors from across Texas to be part of this unique NASA program. During the school year, selected students completed a 16-week interactive, online curriculum including four distance-learning modules with each containing four web-based assignments.
The onsite experience at NASA will include working in teams, briefings and interaction with NASA experts, tours of JSC facilities and applying their newfound knowledge working as a team to plan and design a mission to Mars. Saenz’ onsite experience will conclude with a presentation of their proposal to attending parents, members of the Texas Legislature, Houston Lives Stock Show and Rodeo, Rotary National Award for Space Achievement, and JSC senior management.
The state of Texas, in partnership with JSC and the Texas educational community, developed HAS in 1999 to encourage more students to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). More than 10,000 students from across Texas have been impacted by the program since its inception 20 years ago.
With this program, NASA continues the Agency’s tradition of investing in the nation’s educational programs. It is directly tied to the Agency's education goal of attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines critical to NASA’s future missions, which includes their mission to Mars.
“The determination it takes to complete this rigorous HAS program shows great character of the students who are already balancing school, extracurricular activities, and applying for college,” HAS Manager Jessica Cordero said. “Time management is a key component for success. Once the students spend time at NASA and are mentored by NASA experts (which also includes HAS alumni), their brilliant minds are more determined than ever to take their next giant leap into a STEM related field.”