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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 that asteroid's orbit around the sun. 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 each year, 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 and former faculty. We also receive and welcome support from our "extended family" of parents, guest speakers, and anyone who wants to join us in inspiring the scientists, engineers, and other leaders of tomorrow.


Alumni in their own words
"I can't imagine my life without this amazing summer. SSP undoubtedly changed who I am for the better, and showed me a world of opportunity outside of the small town where I live." -Austin Richardson SSP '13

"What surprised me was that the rigors of learning orbit determination did not have the greatest impact in shaping my outlook on life and my future career - the social experiences did. Academically SSP is both rigorous and unique, but what makes it very special and very dear are the social, 'coming-of-age' experiences that I am absolutely certain cannot be had anywhere else. The bonding, the late night discussions, and the whole experience, are unparalleled even years later."
-Ryan Kabir SSP '00

"SSP remains the most academically cohesive and intense educational experience I have ever had. That, I suspect, is true for most who are fortunate enough to attend it. If it weren't for SSP my vision would be narrower, my aspirations less ambitious, and my life less rich. I don't exaggerate."
-Dr. E.C. Krupp SSP '61, Director, Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

Read more quotes from alumni, young and old

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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June 15 - July 23
New Mexico campus in session
June 22 - July 30
California campus in session
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.
Dr. Edwin C. Krupp '61 has won the 2013 Andrew Gemant Award from the American Institute of Physics. The Gemant award recognizes significant contributions to the cultural, artistic or humanistic dimension of physics.
112 alumni, parents, faculty, family, and friends attended the Alumni Dinner and 55th Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles. About half also toured Mount Wilson that afternoon.
Video produced by
Coast Range Digital