By Kathy Chouteau
Many college students will head out for a night on the town with their friends tonight, but Richmond resident and Contra Costa College student Maria Suwabe has other plans. Suwabe has been selected by NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) to attend the “NCAS Mission 2: Exploration Simulation” Oct 19–26.
Suwabe earned a spot at the Exploration Simulation alongside hundreds of other nationwide community college students after completing a five-week online NCAS course. The students will learn more about NASA’s missions and careers in science and engineering throughout the virtual experience, according to Contra Costa College.
The group will form teams and collaborate on designing a mission to explore Moon or Mars by joining a design team, fulfilling a team role, managing a budget and developing communication and outreach strategies, per the college. During the experience, Suwabe and other students will also attend NASA events, get the 411 on applying for internships and virtually tour NASA’s unique facilities.
“NCAS inspires community college students to advance in STEM fields, and it also opens doors for future careers at NASA,” said Torry Johnson, Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Manager—which funds NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars.