SFCC student selected to visit NASA center in Sept. 2019

Sara Lanctot, who is studying engineering and computer science at the college, was selected to attend the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) Onsite Experience at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, on Sept. 23-27.

This summer she participated in an intensive five-week online activity. The above slide show includes renderings of some of Lanctot’s original designs for her “Ladybug,” a Mars rover.

Lanctot will receive an all-expense trip to the Marshall Flight Center.  While at NASA, students form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team will develop and test a protype rover, form a company infrastructure, manage a budget and develop communications and outreach.

“This is a great opportunity and I’m eager to share my experience with other students at SFCC,” Lanctot said.  “NASA is not only looking for students from STEM-related fields, they really want any student who loves NASA.  NASA is looking for students from all different disciplines such as health care, engineering and agriculture.”

This fall she will be working in the SFCC Tutoring Center in addition to taking classes. “I really benefited from the Tutoring Center and I’m glad to be able to help others students with math,” Lanctot said.  “Also, working there will help me keep my math skills sharp.”

Lanctot was featured in the Fall 2018 issue of Inside SFCC in the story, “Research Fuels Engineering Students.”

The Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP funds NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars. MUREP is committed to engaging underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with authentic learning experiences to sustain a diverse workforce.  With this activity, NASA continues the agency’s tradition of engaging the nation in NASA’s mission and leading an innovative and sustainable program of exploration to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.

Torry Johnson, Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Manager said, “NCAS not only inspires community college students to advance in STEM fields, but it also opens doors for future careers at NASA.  NCAS alumni often move on to NASA internships and ultimately enter the NASA workforce.  It is rewarding to see the progression of a student from NCAS participant to NASA colleague.”

Applications for next year will open on Aug. 28 at

For more information read the press release.