Alvin Community College student Chelsi Nelson loves aerospace and mechanical engineering and she aspires to earn a doctorate in the field as she continues her education.
She began taking courses at ACC this past fall and plans to transfer to the University of Texas-Arlington to pursue her goals.
In the meantime, Nelson will be joining the astronauts and engineers that make space travel possible at NASA this summer after she was named one of the agency’s Community College Aerospace Scholars, or NCAS, for 2016.
“NASA is my dream,” Nelson said. “I’m hoping that being a part of the program will open the door for other opportunities such as internships.”
Nelson was one of 216 students across the country selected to participate in the four-day workshop at Johnson Space Center on May 22-25.
“NCAS not only inspires community college students to advance in STEM fields, but it also opens doors for future careers at NASA,” said Tania B. Davis, NASA Minority University Research and Education Project Manager. “NCAS has a legacy of alumni moving from NASA internships to and ultimately entering the NASA workforce. It is rewarding to see the progression of a student from NCAS participant to NASA colleague.”
To be selected for the NCAS program, students had to complete a five-week online course.
During the workshop, Nelson will have the opportunity to work with NASA engineers and staff members as they learn about careers in science and engineering.
Students will also form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. The teams will develop and test a prototype rover, form a company infrastructure, manage a budget and develop communications and outreach.
Nelson will also be able to tour facilities and briefings by NASA subject matter experts.
“I hope to meet people who are interested in the same things I am,” Nelson said. “I really hope to meet other scientists as well.”
The Minority University Research and Education Program was created by NASA to recruit underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM fields. For more information about the National Community College Aerospace Scholars, e-mail JSC-NCAS@mail.nasa.gov or call 281-483-0493. For more information, visit ncas.aerospacescholars.org.