Berkeley, CA – NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) selected Nadine Ordaz of Berkeley, California to attend the NCAS Virtual Experience, March 1-11, 2021.
Ordaz’s successful completion of a five-week online NCAS course earned them a spot to participate in the NCAS Virtual Experience. Ordaz is one out of 104 community college students from across the country to participate in the nine-day virtual experience.
Selected community college students learn more about NASA’s missions and careers in science and engineering throughout the virtual experience. Students form teams and design a mission to explore the Moon or Mars. Each student team specifically arranges a company infrastructure, assigns responsibilities, manages a budget, and develops communications and outreach strategies. Students also attend briefings given by NASA subject matter experts, receive information on how to apply for NASA internships, and virtually tour NASA’s unique facilities during the event.
"I have always wanted to pursue a career in space exploration and the NCAS program was the perfect first step for me," says BCC student Nadine Ordaz. "I applied thinking that I was not going to get in... To my surprise, I was not only accepted to the first part of the program, but also the second part of the program which allows me to create a mission to the Moon with other teammates. I’m thankful to know that being a community college student does not make me any less or keep me from pursuing amazing opportunities."
Ordaz continued, "Dr. Mark Rinker, mathematics professor at BCC, unknowingly gave me the confidence to try my absolute best in these programs. I took his Linear Algebra class during the Fall 2020 semester and it was my favorite math course ever. Being able to understand and actually enjoy the class gave me the self esteem boost I needed in order to be a key player in my current NCAS experience."
The Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, funds NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars. MUREP commits to engaging underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with authentic learning experiences to sustain a diverse workforce.
With this activity, NASA continues the tradition of engaging the nation in its mission of human exploration and sustainable expansion across the solar system and bringing new knowledge and opportunities back to Earth.
“NCAS inspires community college students to advance in STEM fields, and it also opens doors for future careers at NASA. NCAS alumni can often move on to NASA internships and possibly ultimately enter the NASA workforce. It is rewarding to see the progression of a student from NCAS participant to NASA colleague,” says Torry Johnson, Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Manager.
Congratulations Nadine! Enjoy the experience. We know you have an exciting future ahead of you, on this world or others yet to be explored!
For additional information, please contact NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars by email at JSC-NCAS@mail.nasa.gov or by phone at (281) 244-7029. For more information, visit: https://go.nasa.gov/ncas
For more on MUREP, visit: www.nasa.gov/education/murep For updates on social media, follow: #NCAS2021 #MUREP