From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser

For Immediate Release
November 26, 2002
Contact: William A. Scott - (512) 463-0124/923-6162

Fraser: Stephenville, Killeen and Holland Students Selected for NASA Program

AUSTIN -- Senator Troy Fraser today announced the selection of three high school students from Senate District 24 to participate in NASA's Texas Aerospace Scholars Program (TASP), which encourages Texas high school students to pursue studies in math, science, engineering or computer science.

Jace Thompson of Stephenville High School, Felix Espinoza of Killeen's Shoemaker High School and Megan Gersbach of Holland High School, all juniors, were notified of acceptance to the program by Fraser today.

The program, administered through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), is designed to increase the number of students entering the engineering and high-tech workforce. The students are encouraged to study math, science, engineering or computer science by interacting with engineers at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

"All three of these young people are superior students and this is an excellent program. I'm pleased that they have been selected for this unique program designed to enhance their education in the fields in which they excel," Fraser said. "It gives me great pleasure to announce these selections in conjunction with NASA."

Thompson, Espinoza and Gersbach will participate in an interactive on-line distance education course and a one-week summer residential experience at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Thompson is ranked second in his class of 275 students at Stephenville High School. He has been recognized for his outstanding abilities in English, Spanish, Algebra and Chemistry, including his enrollment in a Chemistry lecture and labs at Tarleton State University. Jace has also been chosen as Who's Who Among American High School Students.

Espinoza is a highly respected student by both the faculty and student body. Felix is an outstanding Robotics student who has worked on all phases -- design, construction, building and operation -- of 3 award-winning robots. Felix is an active student athlete as well as a member of the speech and debate team.

Gersbach is an outstanding student leader. She has won Outstanding Student awards in English, World Geography, Algebra and U.S. History. She is part of the College Early Admissions Program where she is taking college level course during her junior year of high school. Megan is a student athlete and is also involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities including Holland FFA, 4-H, band and student council.

Three hundred students, all now in their junior years of high school, and 24 counselors from across Texas will participate in the program. Students were chosen through a competitive process that considered a combination of school records, test scores, class performance and teacher recommendations.