Want to make a contribution on the frontiers of science?Want to have your own science project blasted into outer space on the space shuttle scheduled for orbit in 1982?
If so, and if you are a high school student who can meet certain rigorous qualifications, the University of Maryland wants you.
This is all part of the university's drive to recruit bright high school students. Put into effect last week, this new recruitment scheme offers prospective students a chance to do research in outer space, in addition to $2,000 in scholarship money annually.
"This is our first attempt to make space research available to undergraduates," said Theodore J. Rosenberg, the program's director and a research professor at the College Park Institute of Physical Sciences and Technology.
This latest idea in college recruiting is part of the university's new program to reverse the trend of the last several years in which talented students have left Maryland to attend colleges and universities out of state.
University officials have already introduced a new sequence of honors courses and added several scholarship programs as part of their plan to raise academic standards at the 30,000-student College Park campus in Prince George's County.
Brochures and posters advertising the space shuttle program and the accompanying scholorships have been mailed to high schools in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia.
The option of getting its own experiments aboard the space shuttle was opened to the university two years ago when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced it was leasing space on the shuttle.
The NASA programs permits schools, individuals and corporations to rent up to five cubic feet of space in the 60-foot long, 15-foot wide space shuttle for scientific experiements.
The university has booked 5 cubic feet -- out of the 10,000 cubic feet available on each shuttle for the two student experiments, which will be developed by the scholarship winners with the help of NASA scientists and university professors, Rosenberg said.
Candidates for the scholarship must write two-page description of their proposed experiment, and anything from plant growth tests to studies of the sun are eligible.
The university's program is funded through corporate contributions, with Martin Marietta of Bethesda paying $10,000 for the space on the shuttle and Bendix Field Engineering Corp. of Columbia donating another $10,000 for the scholarships.
"We hope we can generate enough momentum to get this project off the ground and keep it up for a while," Rosenberg said.
The university recruitment plan is modeled after a program first tried in 1977 at Utah State University in Ogden and has been adopted by several other institutions across the country.
Both Georgetown University and the Naval Academy are among 50 colleges planning to put student experiments into space by 1982, according to a NASA spokesman.