Northern Oklahoma College students Zachary Fruits of Tonkawa and Payton Malcolm of Ponca City have been selected to travel to NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center this summer to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) onsite experience.
They were selected as two of 280 community college students from across the United States to be part of the NCAS onsite experience.
NCAS begins as a five-week online activity culminating with a four-day on-site event at a NASA Center offering students the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and others as they learn more about careers in science and engineering. While at NASA, students form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team is responsible for developing and testing a prototype rover, forming a company infrastructure, managing a budget, and developing communications and outreach.
The onsite experience at NASA includes briefings by NASA subject matter experts, information on how to apply for internships and a tour of NASA’s unique facilities.
NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars is an activity funded in part by the Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, which is committed to engaging underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in authentic learning experiences to sustain a diverse workforce.
With this activity, NASA continues the agency’s tradition engaging the nation in NASA’s mission.
“NCAS not only inspires community college students to advance in STEM fields, but it also opens doors for future careers at NASA. NCAS has a legacy of alumni moving from NASA internships to and ultimately entering the NASA workforce. It is rewarding to see the progression of a student from NCAS participant to NASA colleague,” Joeletta Patrick, Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Manager.