Summer Science Program Moves to Westmont

Originally posted: May 17, 2010

Three dozen top math and science high school students from 14 different states and five foreign countries are coming to Westmont June 27-Aug. 7 for the 52nd Summer Science Program (SSP). Drawn by Westmont’s 24-inch Keck telescope and the new observatory, SSP teaches students about astrophysics during the day and involves students in hands-on research about near-earth asteroids at night.

SSP, which has been held in Ojai since 1959, opened a sister program on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Technology in 2003. It is one of the nation’s oldest and most successful pre-college research programs. Since 2000, it’s the only one operated and funded by its own alumni.

SSP alumnus and Westmont Professor of Physics Warren Rogers facilitated the move. “I remember fondly my own SSP summer, so I’m gratified I can do something to help future students have their own life-changing experience,” he says.

Richard Bowdon, who attended two years before Rogers, now directs the program. “For 51 years SSP has challenged students gifted in math and science to realize their amazing potential,” he says. “These six weeks propel them to success in college and career.”

Other SSP alumni include: Dr. Ed Krupp, director of Griffith Observatory; Mitchell Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corp. and founding chair of Mozilla Foundation; and Professor Edmund Bertschinger, chair of the physics department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The independent, non-profit program operates in cooperation with Westmont, New Mexico Tech, Caltech and MIT. For more information, please visit

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