Rutland, Vt. — CCV Rutland student Dale Kenyon will travel to NASA’s Langley Research Center in May to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars project (NCAS). Kenyon, of Shrewsbury, will be one of 216 community college students from across the U.S. to be part of NCAS.
“I have followed the space program since I was a little girl, and doing anything with NASA is a dream come true for me,” said Kenyon. “This program gives me the opportunity to do something that I never thought I would get the chance to do. I am not the traditional IT student or NASA scholar – I am a 54 year-old woman. I hope people will see that you can do anything if you try and that it is never too late to follow your dreams.”
The five-week scholars program culminates with a four-day on-site event at Langley Research Center and offers students the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and others as they learn more about careers in science and engineering. To be selected for the on-site portion of the program, Kenyon completed three modules on various topics and wrote a scientific paper on a manned mission to Mars that earned a successful grade. 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 on-site experience at NASA also includes a tour of facilities and briefings by NASA subject matter experts.
NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars is a project funded in part by the Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP), which is committed to the recruitment of underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to sustain a diverse workforce.
“NCAS not only inspires community college students to advance in STEM fields, but it also opens doors for future careers at NASA,” said MUREP Manager Tania B. Davis. “NCAS has a legacy of alumni moving from NASA internships to the NASA workforce. It is rewarding to see the progression of a student from NCAS participant to NASA colleague.”
With this project, NASA continues the agency’s tradition of investing in the nation’s educational programs. It is directly tied to the agency’s major education goal of attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines critical to NASA’s future missions, which include missions to Mars and beyond.
To learn more about the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars Program, visit https://ncas.aerospacescholars.org/.