Monday, December 4, 2023

NASA Grants KSC Visitor Complex $1.25 Million to Spearhead STEM Program on Mars Exploration Robotics

Cape Canaveral, FL, USA –– KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSCVC) is leading a new initiative aimed at challenging high school students and educators to design and manufacture components of ground and aerial robots that would potentially be used for Mars exploration missions. Funded by a $1.25 million NASA grant for Innovative Mars Exploration Education and Technology (IMEET), the three-year program will take the form of summer camps and professional development workshops at KSCVC and partner locations throughout the country.

“Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is at the center of developing educational programs to inspire students’ innovation in the fields of science and space exploration,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “Bringing this first of its kind program to our campus is a big part of the progress being made here as we work toward developing the knowledge and technology that will make Mars exploration possible.”

The project will be led by Delaware North, which operates Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA, and Integrated Product Lifecycle Engineering (IPLE) Laboratory at Georgia Tech and with partners including South Florida Science Center & Aquarium in West Palm Beach, Florida; Coca Cola Space Science Center in Columbus, Georgia; Museum of Aviation Education Center in Warner Robins, Georgia; and the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut. These partners will provide curriculum and workshop development, implementation and project evaluation at geographically diverse, collaborative team locations.

The STEM engagement project will bring students and educators from all over the country together, in particular focusing on engaging historically under-represented groups by leveraging pre-existing relationships with partner organizations, which include the NASA Space Grant Consortia. The IMEET team will collaborate with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) to implement this project-based curriculum in more than 13 SREB member states across the nation. Expansion of the program will generate a large set of quantitative and qualitative data for broader dissemination of the ideas and knowledge in the STEM community.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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