Salish Kootenai College
Principal Investigator: Timothy S. Olson, Ph.D.
Attracting Tribal College Students to NASA-focused STEM Careers through Participation in Flight Missions
The goal of this project is to significantly increase the participation of tribal college engineering and science students and faculty in NASA flight missions, and hence help motivate and prepare Native American students to go into careers at NASA centers, NASA contractors, or universities performing NASA-sponsored research. The project has three main activities in support of this goal: (1) engineering and science students from SKC and other tribal colleges and SKC faculty will design, build, test, and fly a CubeSat mission in Earth orbit; (2) engineering and science students from SKC and other tribal colleges and SKC faculty will participate at the co-investigator level in a major NASA flight mission, the 2011 Mars Science laboratory rover mission; (3) the PI of this project will actively seek further opportunities for SKC to participate in future NASA flight missions at the co-investigator or principal investigator level. The SKC CubeSat will be the first NASA flight mission with a tribal college as the principal investigator. Approximately twenty tribal college engineering and science students, fourteen from SKC and six from other tribal colleges, will be provided NASA flight mission experience through internships.