THE Summer Science Program

The Summer Science Program (SSP) is a residential enrichment program in which gifted high school students from around the world complete a challenging, hands-on research projectin celestial mechanics.By day, students learn college-level astronomy, physics, calculus, and programming. By night, working in teams of three, they take a series of telescopic observations of a near-earth asteroid, and write software to convert those observations into a prediction of the asteroid’s orbit around the sun. Stimulating guest speakers and field trips round out the curriculum.

I am an astronomer because I attended the “SSP” myself.  I also taught there, one of the m0st intense and rewarding experiences of my life.  Now I recruit students and faculty for the SSP. If you are either a high school student or a grad student or faculty member, I invite you to click on the SSP link above.

This venerable program has inspired young scientists for over 50 years, accelerating their intellectual and personal development, and motivating them to seek equally challenging educational and career paths. Many SSP alumni have gone on to distinguish themselves at selective universities, then to positions of leadershipin their chosen careers.

Established in 1959 at Thacher School in Ojai, California, SSP became an independent non-profit in 2000. It now takes place at two campuses: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, and Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California.  Here are some of the speakers at the program: Richard Feynman   Maarten Schmidt, discoverer of Quasars George Abell Here is a complete list of faculty, guest speakers, and where SSP students go on to college.  It is a remarkable list…..