Annie Kelly, a junior at Massapequa High School, is one of 72 students nationwide recently selected to participate this spring in an online aerospace engineering program for female students, coordinated by NASA.

The six-week program allows aspiring engineers to collaborate with other teens across the United Sates on weekly assignments -- ranging from math problems to online quizzes -- and interact with female NASA engineers and interns.

Forty of the students will be invited to attend a weeklong "summer experience" that will consist of a design project with NASA engineers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, district officials said.

"I want to pursue a field in math or science," said Kelly, 16, who hopes the opportunity will help her get accepted into Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her top college choice. "I think it would be really cool to be an astronaut."

Two of Kelly's classmates, Ashley Coggins and Nicole LiBretto, were also among those to apply for the program.

"These students are three shining examples of women excelling in science and math," said Massapequa Principal Barbara Williams. "We are very proud of their achievements."

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