HBCU-UP, ARK-LSAMP students visit Stennis Space Center


HBCU-UP and ARK-LSAMP students were accompanied by STEM faculty and staff from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to visit the John C. Stennis Center outside Bay St. Louis, MS. The purpose of the tour was to expose pre-college students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics areas first-hand.

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) STEM Summer Academy and the Arkansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ARK-LSAMP) Pre-First Year Summer Institute participants, mentors, staff and administration recently toured the NASA John C. Stennis Space Center outside Bay St. Louis, MS on a STEM Enrichment Tour.  The objective of the tour was to expose the pre-college students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics areas first-hand.  Students were provided opportunities to tour the Aerojet Rocketdyne’s EAF, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Data Buoy Center, a test control center and an engine site.  Over eighty-five people went on the tour.

Chandra Wiley of Pine Bluff will attend the University of Arkansas in the fall and major in biology stated the Stennis Space Center provided her with a great experience.  Her favorite part was when they visited the sites where they tested their rocket engines and the Rolls-Royce jet engines.

“As a biology major, I did not see many opportunities to work with NASA before the trip,” Wiley said. “After the visit, I now know that there are even more job opportunities available.”

Josue Castellanos of DeQueen, AR will attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in the fall and major in civil engineering. He stated that the Stennis Space Center was one of the favorite places he’s visited.  It gave him an inside look into what regular people can achieve.

“I learned of all the internship and job opportunities for my future,” said Castellanos.  “As a civil engineering major, my favorite part of the tour was the interesting infrastructure of the buildings on site.”

Isaiah Solomon of Pine Bluff will attend the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in the fall and major in plant science. He thought the trip was very relaxing, thought provoking, and inspirational.

“Seeing all of the innovative designs and inventions that the engineers came up with humbled me,” Solomon said. “I saw huge, extravagant rockets and a brilliant new environment.”

The HBCU-UP and ARK-LSAMP Programs are funded by the National Science Foundation and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission with goals of increasing the number of underrepresented students in STEM disciplines who pursue STEM careers in the state, region and nation.  ARK-LSAMP is comprised of an alliance of nine institutions across the state of Arkansas, with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff as the lead institution. Dr. Charles R. Colen, Jr. and Dr. Anissa Evans-Buckner are principal investigators for the programs, respectively.

The attendees were:

1st row (L to R):  Humphrey Wanjala, Rodney Tinzie, Najallah Johnson, Brandon Little, Braelin Hence, Olgaaurora Rodriguez, Nisaiah Tibbs-Wright, Emone Bartee, Sadagcious Owens, Patricia Means, Chandler Wilson, Keri Martin, Dejah Harris, Cortlynn Allen, Chandra Wiley, Kyamber Jackson, Kennedi Weston, Taylor Connor, Nathan Harris, Marlene Soto, Ay’Lissa Palmore, Tishuana Combs and Ciarra Collins

2nd Row (L to R):  Tyler Long, Deasia Epperson, Malcolm Peoples, Cecilia Sanchez, Lydia Willhite, Karla Angeles, Devontae Brown, Khalil Ellis, Alaysia Hunter, Niya Griffin, Kia Barnes, Kaleigh Johnson, Laila Hale, Laila David, Raven Franklin Desiree Furlow, Ashanti Cooper, Brianna Allen, Mamie Jennings and LaRon Marbley.

3rd Row (L to R): Katelyn Hunter, LeeAnn McFadden, Julicia Tidwell, Alexis Butler, Genita Harris, Renato Gonzalez, Cartavious Thomas-Ayes, Sharon Quarles, Devontae Brown, Catherine Shorter, Melanie Smith, Kayla Girley, Keyunta Bass, Terra Boose, Carter Buckner, Katelyn Mason, Junius Ross, Chase Hargraves and Anissa Evans Buckner

4th Row (L to R): Marikka Bender, Laura Hildreth, Jalen Stovall, Jarvis Cooper, Frederic Darden, Carlos Chavez, Sharika Minor, Preston Webber, Louis Jackson, Aidan Caig, Trenton Sudduth, Richard Rhoden, Isaiah Solomon, Tyler Thomasson Justin Harper, Decorien Coleman, and Charles Colen

5th Row (L to R): Justin Gist, Josue Castellanos, Evan Buckner, Raymond Wallace, De’Marion Brown, Jared Stovall and Kwame Williams


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