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A life-changing experience ...
The Summer Science Program experience has inspired promising young scientists for more than 50 years, accelerating their intellectual and social development, and propelling them into challenging and rewarding life trajectories.

The Program takes place on two campuses: New Mexico Institute of Technology in Socorro, and Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. At each campus, 36 rising high school seniors complete a challenging research project in celestial mechanics.

By day, students learn college-level astronomy, physics, calculus, and programming. By night, working in teams of three, they take telescopic images of a near-earth asteroid, then write software to calculate its orbital parameters. Stimulating guest speakers and field trips round out this intense, exhilerating immersion into hands-on science.

... made possible by its own alumni
Because SSP profoundly changed their lives, alumni continue to support it as donors, volunteers, and faculty. Many alumni have gone on to distinguish themselves at selective universities, and to positions of leadership in their chosen careers.

Established in 1959, since 2000 SSP has been the responsibility of a unique, independent 501(c)3 non-profit, managed, operated, and largely funded by alumni, former faculty, parents, guest speakers, and others who join us in inspiring the scientists, engineers, and other leaders of tomorrow.

Alumni in their own words

The Summer Science Program values a diverse community in terms of gender, ethnicity, citizenship, socioeconomic status, and national origin. Young women and traditionally underrepresented minority students are especially encouraged to apply.


Help inspire a young scientist. Support SSP's Annual Fund.

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Sept. 30
Donations by Sept. 30 will be recorded in SSP's 2014 fiscal year, and donors recognized in the Universal Times newsletter.
Nov. 8
Alumni, parents, faculty, family, and friends are invited to the annual Alumni Dinner at the Fiske Planetarium, on the campus of the Univ. of Colorado at Boulder.
Dec. 15
Applications open for 2015. We can remind you to apply then, or in a future year when you will be eligible.
SSP has received a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to fund a three-year expansion planning process. Development and testing of a new curriculum is now underway. If all goes well, a third campus will open in 2017.
112 alumni, parents, faculty, family, and friends attended the Alumni Dinner and 55th Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles, preceded by a tour of Mount Wilson Observatory.
Video produced by
Coast Range Digital