Meridian Community College is hosting its first NASA on Campus event Oct. 21-24, 2019 as part of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars, or NCAS.

Twenty-five students, three of whom are Meridian Community College students, were selected from 496 community college students from across the U.S. to be part of NCAS at Meridian Community College. Meridian Community College is one of six community college campuses piloting the NCAS model, developed by NASA, this fall.

The experience consists of a five-week online activity that culminates with a multi-day onsite event at select campuses across the country and offers students the opportunity to learn more about careers in science and engineering. While at Meridian Community College, students will 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 event includes briefings by NASA subject matter experts, information on how to apply for NASA internships, and tours of Meridian Naval Air Station and the Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum. One student from this experience will receive a NASA internship to be awarded summer 2020.

The Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP) funds NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars. MUREP is committed to engaging underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with authentic learning experiences to sustain a diverse workforce.

With this activity, NASA continues the agency’s tradition of engaging the nation in NASA’s mission and leading an innovative and sustainable program of exploration to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.

“NCAS not only inspires community college students to advance in STEM fields, but it also opens doors for future careers at NASA. NCAS alumni often move on to NASA internships and ultimately enter the NASA workforce. It is rewarding to see the progression of a student from NCAS participant to NASA colleague,” says Torry Johnson, Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Manager.

For additional information, please contact NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars by email at JSC-NCAS@mail.nasa.gov or by phone at 281-244-0104. For more information, visit http://ncas.aerospacescholars.org.

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