Arapahoe Community College’s Mary Block and River Gassen have been selected to attend the second phase of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program (NCAS) on location at Johnson Space Center (Houston, Texas) from September 26-29, 2017.
Top-scoring scholars from the first phase of the program, a five-week online course which investigates current NASA initiatives, are eligible for merit-based selection into phase two. Phase two offers students the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers as they learn more about careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. The program, which is inclusive of classes, projects, experiments and resume building, includes a tour of facilities and briefings by NASA subject-matter experts.
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. Only half of the students who enroll in the first phase of the NCAS program advance into NASA’s all-expenses-paid second phase.
Block, who will complete her Associate of General Studies at ACC this fall, plans to transfer to the University of Wyoming in January. She plans to double major in Astronomy/Astrophysics and Physics and hopes to one day work at NASA. Gassen graduated from ACC last May and is now studying Physics at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs. She aspires to become an astrophysicist. Block and Gassen are the third and fourth ACC students selected for the second phase of the NCAS program. Spencer Jackson and Tasha Estein were selected during the 2016-17 academic year.
Visit the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program website for more information.