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Thu, Aug 09, 2018

NASA Gives $1.4M To Help Minority-Serving Colleges Develop New STEM Courses

Awardees Will Partner With A NASA Center Or Facility To Accomplish The Goals And Objectives Of MISTC Over A 15-Month Period

Through the Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP), NASA provides financial assistance via competitive awards to Minority Serving Institutions, or MSIs, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, other minority-serving institutions, and eligible community colleges, as required by the MSI-focused Executive Orders. These institutions recruit and retain underrepresented and underserved students, including women and girls, and persons with disabilities, into STEM fields.

The agency has announced a series of MUREP Innovations in Space Technology Curriculum (MISTC) awards that align with the priorities of the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), which is responsible for developing the crosscutting, pioneering new technologies and capabilities the agency needs for current and future missions.

“These cooperative agreement awards are an excellent example of a collaboration between MUREP and STMD helping NASA continue achieving exploration goals while promoting STEM and engaging minority serving institutions,” said Jim Reuter, acting associate administrator for STMD.

The selected minority-serving community colleges and their course ideas are:

  • Bronx Community College, New York: The courses proposed by this school are geared toward enrolling minority and low-income students to participate in a series of hands-on and field-based workshops. The workshops will focus on inquiry-based geospatial technology and STEM activities developed by using NASA’s online data repositories and state-of-the-art equipment available through partner institutions. The participants will learn to analyze Earth observation data, develop automated feature extraction tools, and perform image analysis and classification.
  • College of the Desert, Palm Desert, California: College of the Desert will enhance an existing course in physics by incorporating the entry, descent and landing phases of space mission concepts into the curriculum and lab work – an area of study not previously available to students at the community college level.
  • Los Angeles Pierce College, Woodland Hills, California: Pierce College will develop a lab course to go alongside their existing Introduction to the Solar System course, which will aid in creating a direct path for students to transfer to a four-year school. The lab course will provide hands-on learning opportunities and internships for participating minority students through a partnership with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • Passaic County Community College, Patterson, New Jersey: Passaic County Community College Takes Flight will focus on avionics technology and will revise the college’s existing Introduction to Engineering course to include basic avionics concepts such as navigation and landing systems, weather radar, transponders, and flight control systems.
  • Prince George’s Community College, Upper Marlboro, Maryland: This program will enhance and revitalize the school’s existing engineering curriculum to create a cohesive four-year curriculum with strong NASA avionics content to help train the future NASA workforce.

Awardees will partner with a NASA center or facility to accomplish the goals and objectives of MISTC over a 15-month period of performance, for up to $330,000.

(Source: NASA news release)

FMI: go.nasa.gov/2vd6hxN

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