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Collin College Students Participate in NASA Program

June 1, 2017 ­– Three Collin College students recently traveled to NASA’s Johnson Space Center to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars project (NCAS). Jon Parker Brooks and Kyla Reedy, both of McKinney, and Lucia Cisneros of The Colony were three of 348 community college students from across the country selected to be part of NCAS.

The four-day visit to the Johnson Space Center was the culmination of a five-week program, in which students completed online orientations and teamwork activities with participants across the country and NASA engineers/scientists, planning a mission to Mars. While at NASA, the students formed teams and established fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team developed and tested a prototype rover, formed a company infrastructure, managed a budget and developed communications and outreach strategies.

The on-site experience at NASA included a tour of facilities and briefings by NASA subject matter experts. The students had the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and others as they learned more about careers in science and engineering. 

“I didn’t want to go to sleep while I was there,” Cisneros said. “It was just such a great environment, being around people with common interests. It was very welcoming and eye-opening.”

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. 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.

For additional information, contact National Community College Aerospace Scholars by email at or by phone at 281-483-0493.

Collin College serves more than 53,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degrees and certificates. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development. In addition, the college operates the Collin Higher Education Center, which serves 3,100 additional students each year in partnership with The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Woman’s University, Texas A&M Commerce, Texas Tech and the University of North Texas.