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Pratt Community College Student Visits NASA

21 November 2014

Pratt Community College student Silvia Alvarez recently spent three days at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas to participate in the National Community College Aerospace Scholars project (NCAS).

Alvarez, originally from Pratt, was selected as one of 40 community college students from across the U.S. and was the only student selected from Kansas. 

The semester-long scholars program culminates with a three-day on-site event at Johnson Space Center and offers students the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and others as they learn more about careers in science and engineering. 

While at NASA, students form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team is responsible for developing a prototype rover, designing a 3-D model of their rover and forming a company infrastructure, including budget, communications and presentations. Alvarez was responsible for the marketing portion of her team’s fictional company, and her team won first place in the competition. 

“My favorite part was interacting with the NASA team and seeing their facilities up close,” said Alvarez. “It was an exciting experience for someone from a small town in Kansas, and it helped me to decide that I want to pursue an internship with NASA in the future. I’ve been interested in working with NASA since high school, and since I’m planning a career in science, this fits in well with my academic objectives.”  

Alvarez will graduate from Pratt Community College in May 2015 and plans to transfer to Wichita State University to study microbiology.

NCAS is designed to encourage community and junior college students to enter careers in science and engineering in order to join the nation’s high technology workforce.

For additional information, please contact National Community College Aerospace Scholars at 281-483-4112 or JSC-NCAS@mail.nasa.gov.  

Angie Alvarez.JPG
Alvarez with her team, front row second from right