RCCC selected to participate in NASA grant competition

May 18. For the second year in a row, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College was one of only ten colleges selected to participate in the North Carolina Space Grant Team Design Challenge and Competition.

“This was a great opportunity for work-based learning and provided a great experience of a real division of NASA for our students. The participants were able to learn the hands-on process of creating a real space balloon and simultaneously earned a scholarship to further their education,” said Zackary Hubbard, program chair for the college’s computer technology integration program.

Each team designed, engineered, tested and launched a high-altitude balloon to the edge of space. Team members were responsible for conducting a specific experiment while their balloon was in flight. Each balloon was equipped with a camera and GPS, which aided in the recovery of the balloon after the experiment.

The balloons were launched in Hickory and the event was open to the public and those interested in STEM, said Dr. Van Madray, dean of the college’s engineering and business technologies programs.

The North Carolina Space Grant Consortium is led by North Carolina State University. As part of NASA’s proposal to increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at community and technical colleges, the N. C. Space Grant was selected as a recipient of the 2014 Space Grant Competitive Opportunity for Partnerships with Community Colleges and Technical Schools.

The grant not only provided the funding for the competition, but it also provided a $1,000 scholarship for each Rowan-Cabarrus team member.


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