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Summer research program to encourage investigation

EDITORS/PHOTOGRAPHERS: There will be a photo opportunity as the participating students launch their self-built rockets from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 28, at the NMSU Horseshoe.




The RASEM-Squared Summer Science Institute (RASSI) will be held June 25-29 on the New Mexico State University main campus.

RASSI offers opportunities in science and mathematics education to high school students with disabilities. About 30 students are expected to participate in the program and approximately 22 have disabilities.

This year's theme is "Creative Science Investigators: Third Rock From The Sun" and will focus on investigative science. Hands-on activities will include the construction of a telescope and model rockets, including the mixing of rocket fuel. Participants also will dissect owl pellets, construct model airplanes and conduct optics experiments with lenses, mirrors, prisms and lasers.

The investigative focus will guide both the larger projects and the daily science activities.

Themes in previous years have included "Mission to Mars," "The History of Computing," "Animals of the Southwest" and "Solar Power and Fuel Cells."

Robert Liefeld, NMSU professor emeritus of physics, and M. Dale Alexander, NMSU professor emeritus of chemistry, are the assisting professors for the program. Teachers from Mayfield and Onate High Schools in Las Cruces also will participate as well as NMSU students, graduate students and high school interns.

"The program is designed to interest students in science and engineering and to give them an opportunity to explore science," said Richard Turietta, director of RASSI. "It encourages students with disabilities to recognize that they can do science as well as their peers without disabilities and it encourages them to pursue their dreams."

For more information on RASSI 2007 or RASEM-Squared, call (505) 646-6051 or visit http://rasem.nmsu.edu.