MESA students participate in Stanford Internship and Aerospace Scholars Program

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Emma Willard a Yuba College Engineering student and a member of the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Program, just returned from a three-day trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA as part of the National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program. The program is designed to encourage community college students to enter careers in science and engineering and ultimately join the nation's highly technical workforce. It offers students from across the nation the opportunity to interact with each other as they learn more about careers in science and engineering

Emma was selected as one of 40 community college students from across the nation to be part of the National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program. Students completed four Web-based assignments during the school year. They will apply what they have learned during the year to work with NASA engineers.

A 2012 graduate of Wheatland High School, Emma will be graduating from Yuba College in 2015 with plans to transfer to UC Davis to continue to pursue her Chemical Engineering degree.

 "The most amazing part of my visit to JPL was being able to sit in a Mission Control Room and to be around other community college students who have the same drive, direction and focus as I have. It was an awesome experience," said Ms. Willard.

The on-site experience at NASA includes a tour of facilities and briefings by noted NASA employees—including astronauts

Sergio Banuelos Jr. has just been selected to attend the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) on the campus of Stanford University. Sergio will be spending the summer at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory where they conduct research in accelerator physics, optical sciences, materials sciences, catalysis and astrophysics.

Sergio, who is also a MESA student, will be graduating from Yuba College in May and wants to transfer to either UC Berkeley or Stanford. His major is Chemical Engineering. The 8 or 9-week internship program is the third internship that Sergio has applied for and received while attending Yuba College. Previously he attended the University of California at Santa Barbara to study Bio-Chemistry and UC Berkeley where he studied Synthetic Biology. He credits the MESA program for these numerous opportunities. "MESA has helped me a lot. It is the reason that I keep getting these great internship opportunities," said Sergio. As a part of this internship Sergio will receive a stipend, travel expenses and free housing on the Stanford University campus.

SLAC is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, which offers internships for undergraduate students. During the internship, students conduct research while being mentored by a staff scientist or engineer. Students work at a world-renowned laboratory that specializes in research in particle-astrophysics, novel particle accelerators, and photon sciences that cover a range of diverse fields from ultrafast dynamics to structure and functioning of proteins. Students will be working with a scientist or engineer (mentor) on a project related to the laboratory's research program.
Typical research projects include:
• Understanding the nature of Dark Matter
• Computational studies of photovoltaic solar cells
• X-ray crystallography studies of proteins

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