Amanda Derossett, a student at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley, recently earned an opportunity to participate in a summer program sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program is an interactive online learning opportunity highlighted by a three-day experience at NASA. Selected students are encouraged to study mathematics, science, engineering and computer science by interacting with engineers at different NASA centers.
The project includes preliminary interactive web-based activities and an on-site experience during the fall or spring at NASA — either Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center or the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Students from across the nation are chosen to participate through a competitive process. Selected students are U.S. citizens currently pursuing their initial undergraduate degree at a community college who have an interest and aptitude for mathematics, science, engineering or computer science.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Organization students, like Derossett were notified of the opportunity via email and the Blackboard club site. She completed the application process and her professor, Patricia Suess, completed a recommendation for entry into the program.
There were 440 students from across the United States accepted into the online course. Derossett was the only applicant from STLCC-Florissant Valley.
There are two parts to this program. Part 1 is an online course with quizzes and a project that will be graded. Based on student scores, about 66 percent of the student participants may be invited to participate in Part 2, which is an on-site, four-day program at one of seven NASA centers.
“I was very excited when I found out that I was accepted for Part 1 of the program,” said Derossett. “I called my family and closest friends to tell them. This is an awesome opportunity that I’m glad to be able to participate in.”
Derossett is interested in space exploration and hopes to pursue a job in aerospace once she graduates. This program will provide a good place for networking and internship opportunities.
“I hope to gain learning experiences that I can put toward furthering my education in engineering,” Derossett said. “I hope to learn more about NASA and the things they do there. Plus, to be able to network with other students across the country and make friendships.”