Press Release

NASA Competition to be held at Tribal College and University Student Conference

By SpaceRef Editor
March 12, 2018
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Thirty students representing six Native American colleges from around the nation have been selected to compete in a NASA Mars Rover competition at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) student meeting, March 11-14, 2018.

This four-day Tribal Colleges and Universities event at Bismarck Event Center, North Dakota, will offer students the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and others professionals under the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program, where students learn about careers in science and engineering. Four teams of students will compete in the construction and programming of a robotic rover that can traverse a small-scale Mars yard. The schools represented are Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, Red Lake Nation College, Sinte Gleska University, Northwest Indian College, Fort Peck Community College and United Tribes Technical College.

Each team will be paired with a NASA subject matter expert to guide them through the competition. Students also will be provided with information on applying for NASA internships and engaging in NASA missions.

NCAS is an activity funded by the Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP), which is committed to engaging underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through authentic learning experiences to sustain a diverse workforce. This competition at AIHEC was developed through a partnership between NCAS and MUREP.

“NCAS not only inspires community college students to advance in STEM fields, but it also opens doors for future careers at NASA,” said Joeletta Patrick, MUREP manager. “NCAS has a legacy of alumni moving through NASA internships and ultimately entering the NASA workforce. It is rewarding to see the progression of a student from NCAS participant to NASA colleague.”

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

Learn more about NCAS activities at:

Get more information about MUREP activities at:

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SpaceRef staff editor.