“STEM Star” Engineering Student Selected for Prestigious NASA Program

Mitchell LaValley, Wake Tech Student

October 19th, 2015





RALEIGH, N.C. (October 19, 2015) - Wake Tech engineering student Mitchell LaValley will travel to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center later this month to participate in a very special program. LaValley has been named one of the elite NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS). He is one of 160 community college students from across the U.S. who will be part of the five-week scholars program. It culminates in a four-day event October 20-23 at Marshall Space Flight Center, where students will tour facilities and attend briefings by NASA experts. Students will have opportunities to interact with NASA engineers and others as they learn about careers in science and engineering, and they will form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team will develop and test a prototype rover, form a company infrastructure, manage a budget, and develop communications and outreach. 

NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars is funded in part by the Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP. The program is committed to the recruitment of underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to sustain a diverse workforce.  

With this project, NASA continues the agency’s tradition of investing in education. The scholars program is directly tied to NASA’s goal of attracting and retaining STEM students in disciplines critical to NASA’s future missions – to Mars and beyond. 

LaValley has immersed himself in STEM projects at Wake Tech. He and his sister Monique won Wake Tech’s 2014 “STEM Stars” competition for a solar-powered engine prototype that distributes water from rain barrels. He is completing an associate’s degree in engineering and hopes to graduate next year and transfer to NCSU in Aerospace Engineering. 


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