College of DuPage students chosen for NASA education program
Two Chicago students from the College of DuPage must have stars in their eyes.
Rachel Fry and Andrew Krall were among 304 community college students chosen to participate in one of NASA's education programs, the community college reported.
The students will visit NASA's Langley Research Center for the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) project. The four-day experience will include participants developing and testing a prototype rover and exploring other projects.
Fry, a science major, has been interested in NASA and space travel since 2012, when she attended a viewing party of Curiosity, the NASA-designed rover that landed on Mars.
“Everyone in the room was on the edge of their seats, and people were crying when Curiosity successfully touched down,” Fry said on the college's website. “It was an intense experience that made me realize how passionate I was about space exploration and the development of science and technology. I realized that I want to be part of a team that will advance space exploration and discovery.”
Krall, a physics major, heard about the NASA program from Rumiana Nikolova, an associate professor of physics.
“I didn’t do well in physics in high school,” Krall said on the website. “Halfway through my pre-calculus course at College of DuPage, I was studying ellipses and learned that they can be used to calculate orbits. I started to see how everything connected together – math and physics and space. It just snowballed from there. I even gave two speeches in speech class on space.”