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Atlantic Cape Student Nicole Schoenstein Earns Slot in NASA Program

December 20, 2011

Atlantic Cape Community College student Nicole Schoenstein of Weymouth, and her teammates from community colleges across the country, have secured an opportunity to participate in NASA’s 2012 Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program, June 8-16, in Houston, Texas. Schoenstein’s team, IllumiNation, was the only team of community college students to be selected.

The NASA program provides a unique academic experience for undergraduate students to successfully propose, design, fabricate, fly and evaluate a reduced gravity experiment of their choice. Schoenstein’s team will eventually build and fly their experiment, “Nanostructured Metallic Foams Created through Self-Propagating High Temperature Synthesis,” on NASA’s “Vomit Comet” this summer.

In addition, Schoenstein’s team has developed an outreach plan to inspire and facilitate science, technology, engineering and math education. IllumiNation plans to reach out to underprivileged students in grades K-12, throughout the United States. Methods will include activities and experiments, promotion of NASA educational opportunities and guest speakers via visits to classrooms, youth organizations and the creation of after school clubs.

Earlier this year, Schoenstein participated in NASA’s National Community College Aerospace Scholars Program and was one of 48 students selected to participate in the onsite portion of the program at Marshall Space Flight Center in November. She has been an active leader in the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and was accepted into the college’s Leadership, Education and Development program. Schoenstein is studying chemistry at Atlantic Cape and maintains a 3.8 GPA.

Learn more about the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program.