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NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland is kicking off an initiative to bring area students closer to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for the benefit of the Northeast Ohio community and the nation.

Nearly 200 high school students will ignite their STEM journey with a tour of NASA Glenn during NASA Career Exploration Day, Thursday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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Students will learn about NASA internships, as well as uniquely created paid STEM engagement learning experiences to be awarded to 25 students attending this event. These STEM engagement opportunities will take place at NASA Glenn this summer.

“If we are going to fulfill NASA’s mission to have a long-term human presence on the moon and eventually send astronauts to Mars, we need all the talent and skills available to us,” said Darlene Walker, Director, Office of STEM Engagement. “We want to give students the opportunity to engage in the excitement of NASA research, exploration and discovery.”

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These experiences are made possible through a new collaboration among NASA Glenn, Aerozone Alliance, and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District focused on attracting and retaining a diverse, skilled future STEM workforce. Aerozone Alliance partners contributing to this collaboration include Ohio Aerospace Institute, Ohio Space Grant Consortium, Greater Cleveland Career Consortium, and Argonaut.

“We’re serving the need to increase the talent pool for STEM careers to support the nation’s future endeavors in aerospace,” said Hrishue Mahalaha, executive director, Aerozone Alliance. “Together with NASA Glenn and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, we are aiming to find new ways to inspire, engage, and recruit the next generation of innovators.”

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During NASA Career Exploration Day, eleventh graders will participate in a hands-on STEM engagement activity and see research demonstrations. They also will engage in a panel discussion with NASA scientists, engineers, and current NASA interns.

Student tours will include the following Glenn facilities:

  • Graphics and Visualization Laboratory, where researchers create virtual and augmented reality
  • Simulated Lunar Operations Laboratory, a unique indoor space designed to mimic the surface of the Moon and Mars
  • Telescience Support Center, where researchers remotely operate experiments onboard the International Space Station
  • Zero Gravity Research Facility, NASA’s premier facility for microgravity research


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