NASA Selects Community College Scholars For Chance To Design Space Rovers, Visit Johnson Space Center

WASHINGTON -- Seventy-six students from community colleges in 28
states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have been selected to
travel to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, May 20-22, for an
out-of-this-world experience. They will participate in a three-day
on-site event to develop robotic explorers that will rove the
surfaces of other worlds.

This event is the culmination of the National Community College
Aerospace Scholars pilot program. Students completed four Web-based
assignments during the school year. Those who maintained a 95 average
qualified for the experience at Johnson. NASA will pay the students'
travel expenses. They will apply what they have learned during the
year after interacting with NASA engineers and learn more about
careers in science and engineering.

Program participants will form teams and establish fictitious
companies interested in Mars exploration during the event. Each team
will be responsible for developing a prototype rover, designing a
line drawing of their rover, and forming a company infrastructure,
including budget, communications and presentations. The on-site
experience includes a tour of Johnson facilities and briefings from
NASA employees, including astronauts.

"This represents another innovative NASA project whereby community
college students engage in actual engineering design and production -
from concept to build-out - that simulate the process NASA uses in
designing robotic explorers for solar system destinations," said
Joyce Winterton, associate administrator for Education at NASA
Headquarters in Washington. "It successfully demonstrates and
furthers the participants' academic knowledge in science, technology,
engineering and mathematics,"

The students represent Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California,
Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky,
Mississippi, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico,
New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania,
Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

"NASA is very proud of the outstanding work these students already
have completed, and we look forward to seeing their rover designs,"
said Deborah Hutchings, the program manager at Johnson. "These
students have a unique opportunity to preview how a career in
science, technology, engineering or math can lead them on a journey
of space exploration."

The National Community College Aerospace Scholars is a pilot program
based on the Texas Aerospace Scholars, a program created by the state
of Texas in partnership with Johnson and the Texas education
community. Both programs are designed to encourage community and
junior college students to enter careers in science and engineering,
and join the nation's high technology workforce.
With this program, NASA continues the agency's investment in the
nation's students with a goal of attracting them to the science,
technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines critical to
NASA's future missions.

For a complete list of the students selected and the community
colleges they represent, visit:


For more information about NASA's National Community College Aerospace
Scholars, visit:


For more information about NASA's education programs, visit:


Source: NASA

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