Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2003
Lavonne Luquis (510) 987-9194


The University of California has been awarded a $400,000 grant by the Toyota USA Foundation to expand its California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science program (COSMOS) to a fourth UC campus.

The funding will cover 50 percent of the planning costs to establish a new site, and half of the operating costs of the month-long summer school's first year of operation.

The university has yet to determine which of its campuses will host the new summer school program, which is expected to be in place for students in 2005. Last summer, about 450 high-achieving students entering the 9th to 12th grades took part in COSMOS's residential program at UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis.

"We are delighted by this significant commitment from the Toyota USA Foundation," said Robert Polkinghorn, assistant vice president for student outreach at the UC Office of the President. "It will give a great boost to our efforts to increase opportunities for gifted students to participate in COSMOS."

The Toyota USA Foundation selected COSMOS as one of its grant recipients because of the high quality of its offerings.

"This program exemplifies important and innovative teaching and learning opportunities for K-12 math and science," said Atsushi "Art" Niimi, president of the Toyota USA Foundation.

COSMOS encourages students to pursue careers as scientists, engineers and mathematicians. The program was established by the state Legislature in 1998 and is administered by the UC Office of the President. The program was inspired by the nationally recognized California State Summer School for the Arts, or SPARK, which was initiated in 1987, also by state legislation.

Between Jan. 15 and March 15, 2004, students can apply for next summer's program online at: http://www.ucop.edu/cosmos/

California students completing in June the 8th through 12th grades and who also demonstrate exceptional academic achievement in science and mathematics are eligible to apply. Selection is competitive and participants are sought from each of the state's 58 counties.

The Toyota USA Foundation is a $40 million charitable endowment that supports innovative education programs serving kindergarten through 12th grade in the United States, with special emphasis in the areas of mathematics and science. For more information about the foundation, please visit:

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