NASA and Drake State launch MUREP to bring minority students into STEM education and workforce pipeline

October 14, 2021

Huntsville, AL – Drake State Community & Technical College will kick off a new collaborative project, funded by a multi-year grant from NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP). MUREP provides financial assistance via competitive awards to minority-serving institutions to increase the number of racial and ethnic minorities and women in science and engineering fields.

The kick-off event will be Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 from 1- 3 p.m. at Drake State.

Students in grades 8-12 will be able to participate in summer STEM programs. Drake State will partner with the Moon Village Association to organize a summer bridge STEM camp for middle school students focusing on engineering and Moon exploration. Additionally, Drake State will organize a summer STEM bridge camp for high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn about engineering and science careers and get acquainted with lab safety protocols. Area science teachers will be invited to participate in a summer teacher training program that focuses on STEM-related topics that have NASA applications.

At the undergraduate level, Drake State students will have the opportunity to participate in summer research internship opportunities at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and Southern University Agricultural & Mechanical College (Southern University). The project also aligns with NASA’s research priorities as it focuses on space systems research including 3D printing for space habitation and lunar landing pad design and testing.

Partners in the project include two minority-serving institutions (Drake State and Southern University), one majority-serving institution (MTSU), five industry partners (ICON, Blue Origin, Jacobs, Project XYZ, and Soldier 1 Corporation), two government partners (DEVCOM AvMC ManTech and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center), four non-profit partners (NDIA SMDWG, Moon Village Association, National Space Club-HSV, and North Alabama Works), and multiple school systems (Huntsville City Schools, Madison County Schools, Madison City Schools, and HOPE Christian Academy, a home-school cooperative in North Alabama.) Within Huntsville City Schools, Drake State will emphasize recruitment from majority-minority Columbia High School, Lee High School, and Jemison High School, but all eligible individuals are encouraged to apply.

To learn more, contact marina.kingsbury@drakestate.edu or call (256) 551-7285.