The NASA Olympionics program will recruit students from Florida Community Colleges and engage them in a STEM Education program focused on simplified versions of NASA’s traditional challenges/projects targeted at four year universities. The program will culminate in students traveling to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to participate in an “Olympic” style event, in which they will compete on teams in three different technical challenges. Students who are accepted and who complete the program will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship. They, along with other community college students, will also be invited to participate in a NASA Virtual Opportunity Fair. The fair shall be held online and provide students with the ability to meet one-on-one via webcam with representatives from universities and colleges, as well as NASA Centers and STEM industry employers regarding internships.
The selected shools are:
1. Florida Keys Community College
2. Hillsborough Community College
3. North Florida Community College
Ten students will be selected from each of the three schools, each year, through a competitive application process . The ten students will be divided into two different teams at the school. This will result in six teams traveling to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to compete in the Olympionics. A total of 60 students will be served over the two year period of this program.
The overarching concept of Olympionics is to create a pipeline to matriculate students from two-year community colleges into STEM majors at four year universities. This will be accomplished by (a) involving these students in simplified versions of NASA challenges/projects so that they are aware, inspired by, and are better prepared to compete in the full versions at four year universities, (b) using virtual technology to connect students with STEM programs at universities and four-year colleges who participate in these challenges, and (c) using virtual technology to connect students to internship opportunities at NASA and space industry contractors that are involved in the research and development of the technologies associated with these challenges.
For more information on the program, please go to www.nasaolympionics.com