As an engineering student at County College of Morris (CCM), Jennifer Weir of Madison has been able to take one giant leap into her future career as a student here. With the help of the supportive CCM community and some hard work, Weir was selected to take part in a NASA-sponsored educational event at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama through the National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program.
The program is designed to encourage community and junior college students to enter careers in science and engineering and ultimately join the nation’s highly technical workforce. Out of 218 applicants for the 2012 program, Weir was among the 180 selected to participate in its online coursework. Of those, only 40 were selected to be flown to the Marshall Space Flight Center to attend the onsite learning program.
Weir first learned about the opportunity when she saw an article in the college’s student newspaper, The Youngtown Edition, about another CCM student, Harry Frasca, who had taken part in the program. Frasca participated in the 2010 program in Houston and has been an advocate ever since. So when the chair of the Engineering department, Professor Venancio Fuentes, sent an email to students with the program flyer, Weir immediately applied.
Weir hopes to become a materials engineer and already has several four-year schools in mind for earning her bachelor’s degree. She hopes this experience will help her learn more about her chosen field, as well as allow her to make connections with students and NASA staff that could potentially open doors for her in the future.