NASA has awarded a $2.8 million grant to the Indiana Space Grant Consortium, which is headquartered at Purdue University.
The consortium’s goal is to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
“The grant provides $2.8 million through 2024 to support NASA student internships and fellowships, student STEM experiences, faculty STEM projects and public STEM engagement throughout Indiana,” explained Purdue in a statement.
Purdue has strong links to America’s space program. The university is the alma mater of a host of astronauts, including Neil Armstrong; Gus Grissom, who was the second American in space; and Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon. The West Lafayette, Ind., school, dubbed "the cradle of astronauts," counts 25 former and current astronauts among its alumni.
The Indiana Space Consortium is part of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, which is a national network funded by NASA.
“NASA has a priority in Indiana and across all states to help develop a strong and diverse workforce,” said Barrett Caldwell, director of the consortium and professor of industrial engineering in Purdue’s College of Engineering, in the statement. “NASA provides a research enterprise that goes well beyond space. The work being done impacts issues in Indiana such as remote sensing, soil moisture and drug delivery."
“I have an intimate knowledge of the impact of these early research experiences because I worked with NASA as a student,” he added. “It was incredible for me as a student of color to present my findings to NASA engineers and scientists. I do not think I would be where I am today without those opportunities.”
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