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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Draper Hosts Minority Scholarship Winners for Tour

Draper hosted two college students on Jan. 21 to present them with scholarships and show them a variety of the technology programs underway at the Laboratory.

Samantha (Sam) Alvarez and Ken Lopez, both undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), won $500 scholarships through MIT’s Office of Minority Education Industrial Advisory Council for Minority Education (IACME), which is intended to ensure greater retention and boost academic achievement of minority students at MIT. Alvarez is a freshman pursing a degree in bio-engineering, while Lopez is a junior studying mechanical engineering.

Draper engineers showed Alvarez and Lopez projects including Talaris, a prototype spacecraft that could explore other planets by landing and then hopping to various areas. Alvarez and Lopez also visited Draper’s Lunar Landing Simulation Lab, and met with Dr. John Dowdle, Draper’s vice president for engineering.

 “Draper’s mission to promote advanced technical education takes many forms,” said Linda Fuhrman, Draper’s director of education. “Our interaction with Sam and Ken is intended to recognize high-achieving undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, to expose them to the breadth of opportunities awaiting them after graduation, and to encourage them to continue exploring their passion in engineering. We hope that activities like this will encourage Sam and Ken – and other undergraduates – to continue their STEM education and to enter the nation’s high-tech workforce after graduation.”

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