Aerospace Academy NASA Strategic Education Alliance Grant (SEA)
NASA Strategic Education Alliance Cooperative Agreement (SEA)
The San Jacinto College Aerospace Academy is the prime contractor for this five year cooperative agreement currently funded for $7.7M. The Academy is responsible for staffing, fiscal, and program management of the five program areas described below. The Texas Aerospace Scholars activities are covered in a subcontract to Universities Space Research Association.
I. Reduced Gravity Student Flight Program
The Reduced Gravity Student Flight Program provides a unique academic experience for undergraduate students to successfully propose, design, fabricate, fly, and evaluate a reduced-gravity experiment of their choice over the course of six months. The overall experience includes scientific research, hands-on experimental design, test operations and educational/public outreach activities.
Through this program NASA hopes to attract outstanding young scholars to careers in math, science and engineering; introduce young scholars to careers with NASA and the space program; encourage research and testing of serious science and engineering ideas; and educate both the general public and school-aged children about educational and professional opportunities available with NASA.
This project includes NASA Explorer School (NES) flight weeks, Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers (NEAT) flight week, ESMD Systems Engineering Flight Project, and the Undergraduate Flight Program.
II. Minority Research & Education Program (MUREP)
The Minority Research & Education Program focuses on expanding and advancing scientific and technological bases through collaborative efforts with minority colleges and universities. Through sufficient infrastructure-building support, exposure to NASA’s unique mission and facilities, and involvement in competitive peer review and selection processes, minority institutions are able to contribute significantly to the education of a more diverse resource pool and scientific and technical personnel who are well prepared for future technological challenges.
III. Education Information Technology: IT Projects Planning
Education Information Technology provides Data Management, Website/application/database and activities, maintenance, and Web project management to benefit the partnership with the NASA-JSC Education Office.
IV. Higher Education Student Programs
Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP) - This program at NASA-JSC consists of a 10-15 week research experience under the supervision of a NASA technical mentor. Selected students must be available to work 10 consecutive weeks at 40 hours per week during the Summer or 15 consecutive weeks at 40 hours per week during the Fall. At the completion of the research session, students must submit a paper on their NASA-USRP research experience. Students may also be asked to discuss their research in public forums and/or participate in NASA-sponsored colloquia, workshops, and technology demonstrations.
NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program (GSRP) - These awards are jointly managed with the Earth System Science Graduate Student Fellowship Program. This program awards fellowships for graduate study leading to masters or doctoral degrees in the fields of science, mathematics, and engineering related to NASA research and development. This twelve month award includes a required internship at the NASA Center affiliated with the NASA sponsored research.
NASA Faculty Fellowship Program (NFFP) – This program provides faculty an opportunity to engage in research at one of the participating NASA Centers or the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The NFFP research experience supports the Space Exploration Vision for America’s Civil Space Program—a return to the Moon, missions to Mars, and journeys beyond, including NASA’s Exploration Systems, Science, Space Operations, and Aeronautics research missions. The NASA Faculty Fellowship Program is jointly administered by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA).
Space Grant Program – This program enacted by Congress in 1988 and administered by NASA, serves the nation with a broad mandate to fund research, education, and public service projects through a national network of 52 university-based Space Grant consortia. The autonomous consortia implement programs in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Consortia membership includes over 640 affiliates, two-thirds of which are academic institutions. Other members include business and industry partners, state and local government agencies, other federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations. From 1991 to 1997, Space Grant awarded over 9,000 U.S. citizens with tuition assistance. Twenty percent of these awards were to students from underrepresented groups and forty percent were to women. Most Space Grant students’ awards include a mentored research experience with university faculty or NASA scientists.
V. Texas Aerospace Scholars (Subcontracted to Universities Space Research Association)
Texas Aerospace Scholars consists of three main components: High School Aerospace Scholars, Middle School Aerospace Scholars, and TAS Internships. Transportation, lodging, meals and related activities are provided at no cost to program participants (excludes TAS Interns).
Middle School Aerospace Scholars (MAS) – This program encourages middle school students to study STEM courses, inspiring them to pursue careers as engineers, scientists, and computer scientists. Texas middle school teachers spend one week during the summer in a professional development workshop at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. They learn how to use NASA's educational resources in the classroom and develop an action plan to implement during the following school year. By enabling middle school students to interact with NASA engineers and scientists, students may be encouraged to make the choices required to be successful in high school science programs.
High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) – This is an interactive on-line learning experience, highlighted by a six-day internship at the NASA Johnson Space Center where selected students are encouraged to study math, science, engineering, or computer science by interacting with engineers. During the school year, scholars complete 10 web-based lessons. Lessons begin in December and are due every two weeks. These lessons include a variety of activities such as reading online curriculum, writing essays, designing upgrades to be used on the Shuttle and ISS, solving math problems, and taking online quizzes.
Community College Aerospace Scholars (CAS) – This program gives teams of community college students from across the state of Texas an opportunity to participate in a unique on-site team project. Students are involved in web-based interactive activities prior to their arrival at NASA Johnson Space Center. They then spend three days during either the fall or spring semester on-site taking part in an exploration team project which allows students to work with NASA engineers and scientists in a real-life environment to design and present a project proposal.
TAS Intern Program- This program seeks to recruit talented students in academic disciplines relevant to NASA’s mission. Selected participants will be offered a 15-week hands-on internship at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Candidates must be TAS program alumni, which includes former High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) and Community College Aerospace Scholars (CAS), who are attending a Texas four-year degree granting college or university.