Spring Grove NASA Student Launch

Spring Grove Area High School in York County, PA is sending two teams to the exclusive NASA Student Launch Initiative program. It is one of only two high schools in the country to qualify two teams. In fact of the 26,407 public secondary schools and 10,693 private secondary schools in the US, only 12 even made it into the 2016 NASA SLI program.

You may think these are pretty impressive statistics, especially for a small, mostly rural school with a student population of just uner 4,000 students. We would certainly agree. It's even more so when you consider that this is the third year in a row that students from Spring Grove Area High School have qualified for the Student Launch Initiative program and that beyond that, a number of students have won top national awards in the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) program.

We are extremely proud of the fact that our students are succeeding on such a national platform and working with some of the nation’s best scientists. These teens truly amaze us!

What amazes us the most, though, is the fact that they raise all the money needed to do this at the same time!

That’s right. This is an unfunded program. NASA is very happy to invite the students to participate, if they qualify; but they have no funds to assist them throughout the year. The school district is in the same position. We are very proud of the Rocket Scientists, and extremely supportive of their efforts; but there is no money in the school budget to back up that support. So, the 16 students and two advisor/teachers take on the task of doing the work to prepare and test two rockets for NASA by April; while at the same time, raising at least $26,000 to fund the work they are doing.

That’s a big task. So far, this year, they have raised almost $16,000. But, they need help to raise the rest.

In January, they will begin the testing phase with the rockets, and their time will be very limited for fundraising. We've got to help them get the rest of this budget secured soon.

Funds are needed to cover the supplies for testing, rebuilding, and transportating rockets and students to the testing sites. In addition, funds will be needed for food, lodging and transportation for 16 teenagers and two advisors to travel to NASA launch headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama for the actual launch week in April. During their stay in Huntsville, the students will meet and work with noted scientists whose work they have studied throughout the year in preparation for their own launch. It's a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity they will never forget!

Donations of any size are welcome. Checks can be written to the Spring Grove Area Educational Fund, c/o SGASD/SLI and mailed to 100 East College Avenue, Spring Grove, PA 17362.  ALL gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law, as the Educational Fund is a 501-c-3 registered charity in the state of PA.

If you have questions or would like more information, check out the students' SLI web site at http://springgroverocketry.weebly.com/  or the school district web site at www.sgasd.org

We truly appreciate your help and will be happy to keep you informed of the students progress - and success!  while in Huntsville.  We have come to realize that there is no limit to what these students can accomplish!

Thank you very much for your generosity!

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Lisa Smith 
Spring Grove, PA
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