SOCORRO, N.M., January 10, 2003 -- New Mexico Tech will play host this summer to about three dozen of the nation's most academically gifted high school students, when the renowned Summer Science Program (SSP) expands into its second home at the university campus in Socorro.

Since 1959, SSP has provided juniors and sophomores selected from high schools across the nation and abroad with an intensive six-week summer residential program on a campus in Ojai, Calif. Beginning on June 8, SSP will open its second operating site on the New Mexico Tech campus.

Each summer, SSP's hands-on curriculum combines classroom lectures in college-level math, physics, astronomy, and computer programming with team research projects in which participants determine the orbits of asteroids, using their own observations, measurements, and software.

Students, parents, and teachers interested in garnering more information about SSP are encouraged to visit the program's website at www.summerscience.org, where a downloadable application can also be found. Application deadlines for this summer's SSP sessions are February 28 and March 21.

Both Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories are joining New Mexico Tech in supporting the new SSP campus in Socorro.

The Summer Science Program is established in cooperation with Caltech, Stanford University, other California-based universities, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.