York Technical College student Jason Ream has been selected to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) Onsite Experience. Ream was selected as one of 403 community college students from across the United States to be part of the program. Next week, April 14-17, Jason will travel to NASA’s oldest research center, Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA.  

The NCAS Onsite Experience is a five-week online activity that culminates with a four-day on-site event at a NASA 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 and testing a prototype rover, forming a company infrastructure, managing a budget, and developing communications and outreach.  

The onsite experience also includes briefings by NASA subject matter experts, information on how to apply for internships and a tour of NASA’s unique facilities.

Jason, a resident of Chester, SC, is currently majoring in computer technology with a specialization in programming. He is on track to earn his associate degree this May. “Jason is one of those students that makes teaching easy.  He is obsessed with his chosen field of study and he is like a sponge - absorbing anything and everything about the subject,” said James Thomas, the College’s Associate Dean for Business and Computers and one of Jason’s instructors.  “This is an opportunity for Jason to learn with the absolute best and brightest in the field.  It is also a chance for him to gain confidence in his chosen field, being able to interact with other participants from across the country which will, in turn, allow him to have confidence that the skills and training he has received at York Technical College have prepared him for the today’s IT workforce,” shared Thomas.

NCAS is an activity funded in part by the Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, which is committed to engaging underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in authentic learning experiences to sustain a diverse workforce.  “My [NCAS] application essay described how as a child I always dreamt of an opportunity to go to Space Camp,” said Ream about his selection to the program. “At 36 years old and all the life I have lived up to this point, I am humbled. I realize that the opportunity before me is the culmination of so many failed attempts at so many things so that I could have the opportunity to have my childhood dream come true."

With this activity, NASA continues the agency’s tradition engaging the nation in NASA’s mission. “NCAS not only inspires community college students to advance in STEM fields, but it also opens doors for future careers at NASA.  NCAS has a legacy of alumni moving from NASA internships to and ultimately entering the NASA workforce.  It is rewarding to see the progression of a student from NCAS participant to NASA colleague,” Joeletta Patrick, Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Manage.

To learn more about MUREP visit www.nasa.gov/education/murep

For updates on social media follow:  #NCAS2019 #MUREP