CHICAGO HEIGHTS—(ENEWSPF)—February 15, 2018
By: Greg Lewandowski
As NASA gears up to a planned manned mission to the planet Mars, the space agency has launched a new education program that has pulled one Homewood, Ill. resident into its orbit of study.
On Feb. 13, Bill Michael Beverly joined a handful of engineers from throughout the United States at the NASA Space Center Houston in Texas, as the agency begins its search for the next generation of American scientists, engineers and mathematicians who will lay the groundwork for our country’s ambitious goal of a manned mission to Mars in the near future. He is one of 171 community college students nationwide be chosen as a NASA Community College Aerospace scholar.
Beverly, an engineering major at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Ill., will participate in the four-day internship program, the goals of which are to attract and retain students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), with the end result being engaging Americans in NASA’S most bold mission to date.
“This is definitely the highlight of my college career, being selected by NASA to go to Space Center Houston and be part of this program,” said Beverly, who plans on continuing his college career at Purdue University Northwest. “Being from Texas and having grown up so close to the space program makes it extra special.”
The program, administered by NASA’s Office of Education, supports the work of the NASA Mission Directorates by coordinating projects for students, faculties and institutions from coast to coast that will expand the base of those who compete for NASA research awards. Beverly initially participated in a five-week online class that led to his selection for the internship at the Houston Space Center. Through the involvement of interns like Beverly, NASA hopes to create and sustain the scientific and engineering workforce of the future.
In addition to the ongoing planning for the manned Mars mission, the NASA Office of Education will continue to emphasize sharing the results of other NASA missions and research programs with wider audiences, by using science discoveries and research applications as vehicles to improve teaching and learning at all levels.
“This is only the first of several internship programs that NASA is conducting as they look to grow their workforce for future missions,” Beverly said. “There is still time for anyone interested in this exciting and challenging career to get involved.”
NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) is an activity funded, in part, by the Minority University Research and Education Program. For more information, contact National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) at [email protected] or (281) 483-0493, or visit http://ncas.aerospacescholars.com/. For updates on social media, follow #NCAS2018.