Parents’ Perspectives

What effect does SSP have on its gifted teenage participants? No one knows better than their parents. These comments are from 2017, summarized by this word cloud:

We were extremely impressed with our son’s participation at SSP 2017. The professionalism from the Executive Director, professors, site director, TA’s and SSP staff was Top Notch.  Nick truly had an awesome experience at SSP and came back from SSP with the biggest smile on his face and with 35 new friends. He was challenged academically beyond what he could have received in his local high school and through many failures and long hours, Nick felt honored to be part of a group of students who collaborated and persevered together to achieve success.  Although SSP is INTENSELY challenging academically, Nick was equally impressed with the “social” aspect of the program. The various guest speakers, field trips and times spent outside of the classroom socializing and working in small groups were as valuable as the classroom instruction. If you are a parent reading this and contemplating if this program is right for your son/daughter, our recommendation is to definitely SEND THEM TO SSP. You will not regret it and they will have the experience/adventure of a lifetime. ~Clint and Kristin West, parents of Nick West

Andrei benefited a lot after this program as he got a new perspective on Astronomy and learned about the practical side of this subject. Furthermore, it helped him tie friendships with students he hopes he will meet at University or in his future career. After this experience, he started taking more serious the idea of pursuing research as a future career and was also extremely pleased with what he learned. I have no hesitation in recommending this program to any parent whose teenager is interested in astronomy. ~Ioana Eftime , parent of Andrei Eftime

SSP was a very enriching experience for our son. When Gautam came back home from SSP, he was so excited to talk about his academic experience and the friendships he had forged during the time he spent there. While the program is very intellectually challenging, it is the collaborative and research aspects of the program that stand out. Besides the exposure to astrophysics, Gautam really enjoyed the weekly field trips and guest lectures. The quality of the students and teachers were a big part of the learning experience at SSP. We are very grateful that Gautam had the opportunity of a lifetime this summer at SSP.  ~Usha and Balaji Pradeep, parents of Gautam Pradeep

SSP is a truly wonderful experience for Yunfei. The intensity of the program not only challenged him, but it was also rewarding for him. He has specially enjoyed the team work in SSP. SSP will be a lifelong memory for him for what he has learned, experienced and the friendship built upon. ~Junfeng Bian, parent of Yunfei Ma

Firstly, I really really thank you and your team for having given the opportunity of participation in the valuable SSP program to my daughter. Hyunkyung said to me and my wife that she really learned a lot and was motivated a lot from SSP program. Bolivia, where my family lived, is a kind of closed society in South America, so Hyunkyung could not be possible to access to the wider world of knowledge. But, your SSP program made it possible to see the world to my daughter. ~Hyunjun Rho, parent of Hyunkyung Rho

Thanks all SSP2017 Team! Elena had amazing time in Boulder, she learned a lot, got skills, made connections and, most importantly, she affirmed her vision at what she is looking forward to study and learn. Great! ~ Alexander Romashkov, parent of Elena Romashkov

My daughter was in the Boulder program.  It was a fantastic experience for her.  She was challenged academically, inspired and made a lot of friends.  I would recommend SSP to anyone with a child who is bright and highly motivated.  ~Alisa Blum, parent of Gina Staimer

I am writing to address my appreciation for SSP. As Armstrong said when stepping onto the Moon: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 39 days seem to be a tiny part of a men’s life; however, it is a great step for Zhiyu (Philippe) to realize the true meaning of research. He said to me that SSP feels like a family; he had never realized that there are such like-minded people and amazing teachers and TAs in the world. I am incredibly grateful towards the opportunity that SSP provides us that helped my son to grow both academically and mentally. ~Li Chen, parent of Zhiyu Yao

My daughter had a great time at SSP at New Mexico Tech this summer. Carolyn said that SSP is the best summer camp she has ever been to because she not only gained a lot of knowledge in math, physics, and computer science, but also made 35 new best friends! She became happier and more energetic after SSP. Thank you very much for providing Carolyn with the opportunity of attending SSP! I will definitely recommend this wonderful summer program to other interested parents! ~Jenny (Xueying) Li, parent of Carolyn Ge

Investigating the orbital trajectory of an asteroid has a strong symbolic meaning for anyone interested in science in general. According to Jessica, SSP is a pretty challenging but also a very rewarding program. The engaging and stimulating teachings of Dr. Andersen and Dr. Rengstorf allowed the high-school students to integrate numerical computing into an astrophysics case study in a short time. The site Director Mrs. Martinez’s thoughtfulness helped the students to quickly adapt to the Socorro life. The dedicated TAs helped them digest the study topics more thoroughly. Overall this has been an eye-opening experience that will surely have some excellent life-long impacts for students. The intensive studies were balanced by night-time shifts observing the skies, as well as very well-arranged field trips. Learning from peers is another feature of SSP. The collaboration with other SPP’ers eased the tight deadlines for homework assignments. Jessica really appreciates the kindness and friendship of her fellow SSP’ers. ~Chunyun Zhang, parent of Jessica Dong

“A scientific paper written by a 17 year old boy is simply amazing!!!!  Our kid grew in every sense of the word. He returned home with a clear vision for his future path in science –and of course– saying that SSP had been the best experience of his life. Felipe made many new friends and felt that he was able to express all of his ideas and interests with a very special group of like-minded peers and knowledgeable TAs and professors. Not only was he challenged intellectually, he also had fun. SSP taught Felipe to be the best version of himself, and we will forever be grateful that he was able to experience it all. ~Lina Forero & Luis Calero, parents of Felipe Calero

From speaking with her, reading the blogs, looking at the pictures, Kathryn had a life changing experience.  You and the program team members completely turned her perception. Not only did she love the program, she may now want to pursue a college degree and career in this field. I wish that as a parent, I could have visited the campus in the middle part of the program to witness this “new lifetime” family that was created by your team. I know the team continues to keep in touch over social media and group calls. I hope many of them will attend the same colleges and grad schools. As for the number of days, I sensed that the students wanted the positive experience to last longer (40 days flew by). Would it be magical if your success with this program can be replicated elsewhere (e.g., college admissions, job recruiting, etc.)?  Thank you, thank you and thank you. ~Yi Tso, parent of Katherine Tso