Stennis Space Center- Thirty-eight Junior College Students from 12 states got the opportunity to visit NASA Stennis Space Center for four days.
The NCAS or NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars were there to compete as teams in an autonomous robotics competition for a fictitious NASA contract to design the most reliable and cost-efficient Mars rover prototype.
Under the watchful eye of NASA experts and mentors, the students used the engineering design process to create a mock proposal, including a production budget and other documents, for the contract.
As part of their proposal, each team designed and built a robotic prototype of its rover to compete in mock missions on a simulated Mars terrain. The activities are designed to provide students with a first-hand experience using the engineering design process, practice team management skills and gain valuable experience and insight into the competitive process of NASA and contracts.
Austin Community College Engineering Student, Matthew Kehn said the experience was a positive one where not only did they learn valuable information into the processes that NASA uses, but created the opportunity for life-long friendships among these like-minded individuals.
Students also participated in a resume-writing workshop during their 4 day stay to provide them with a competitive edge when applying for internships. NCAS is designed to support community college students who are interested in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) studies and future STEM careers.
Any Community College Student interested in the NCAS program should contact them at the NCAS website, or email JSC-NCAS@mail.nasa.gov