Summer Science Program '59



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Welcome to the SSP Class of 1959 page. This page is here to serve as a way for SSPers to keep in touch, as well as to provide stories and experiences of the very first class of SSP Alums and The Thacher School's Summer Science Program!

This site contains information on the FIRST class to enter this intensive, space oriented summer school for six weeks in the summer of 1959. This program brought together 26 high school juniors for an intensive six week program in calculus, astronomy, physics, and computation, started as a result of the beginning of the space age.

On December 6, 1957, a US Vanguard rocket carrying a satellite exploded on the launching pad, less than one month after the Soviets' successful launch of two Sputnik satellites. But on January 31, 1958, Explorer I was successfully launched. On March 15, 1958, Vanguard I became the country's second satellite in space.

In keeping with the space exploration initiatives started by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1955, and these first satellite launches, the SSP was established as a springboard to attract promising students to science and engineering.

This first SSP was made possible by the sponsorship of Cal Tech, Hughes Aircraft Co., Pomona College, The Thacher School, the Ralph B. Lloyd Foundation, and the Helms Foundation.

The Thacher School, in Ojai, CA, was the host to this program from its inception through 1999. The Thacher School then decided at that time not to continue to host the Summer Science Program.

Since then, the SSP has become the responsibility of a nonprofit corporation formed by SSP alumni to maintain and enhance the Program. SSP sessions have been held at Happy Valley School in the Upper Ojai Valley since the summer of 2000.

The Summer Science Program has continued at this new location with generous commercial and educational support. The Summer Science Program is now run through the cooperation of the California Institute of Technology, Harvey Mudd College, Pomona College, Stanford University, and UCLA, and is an accredited observing affiliate of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

We will try to provide links to the alum's web pages, as well as e-mail addresses, as they become available.

Links to other SSP pages can be found at the Summer Science Program site at SSP Alumni Links.

For information on the current program go to the Official SSP web site!

Look for news there about a second SSP program in Socorro, New Mexico next year, subject to additional fundraising.

Sign the '59 SSP Guestbook or View the '59 SSP Guestbook

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Thanks to Sergei and the Summer Science Program 97 Home Page for the format and graphics for these pages.
The SSP '59 Page is maintained by Jim Hanson, one of the '59 SSP Alumni. HTML by Jim
You may e-mail me at if you have comments or info for this site.

This page updated in July, 2004. Counter

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