In The News


ECC Students Well Prepared for the Next NASA Challenge

Essex County College will be well represented in the Virtual NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) experience launching Monday, September 21 and running through October 1. ECC has 24 students working in teams on a virtual challenge designing a mission to the Moon or Mars.

“Our students successfully completed NASA’s five week online summer program to get to this point. Now they are ready for this new challenge,” said Dr. Nidhal Marashi, ECC Chemistry Professor, and the PI and Program Coordinator. Dr. Marashi and ECC Physics Professor Nadia Lvov coached, advised, monitored, and mentored students during the summer portion of the program.

Due to the unique nature of this new project being forced to go virtual by the COVID-19 pandemic, Drs. Marashi and Lvov will only participate in the online general “whole group” meetings such as orientation, internships presentation and the closing ceremony.

Dr. Marashi said the students will be in teams of 10, working with peers from around the country. There are over 300 students nation-wide who are part of the NCAS project. “That’s a very good approach having the opportunity to interact with their peers,” she added. 

NASA scientists and engineers will serve as mentors. Students will also participate in NASA internship and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs and workshops.

The final projects presentation will be on October 1, followed by the closing ceremony.

Dr. Marashi said she is looking forward to talking to the ECC students at the end of the virtual experience. “I know our student are well prepared,” she said.

ECC Acting/Interim President Dr. Augustine Boakye said he is confident that the College’s students will excel in this unique challenge.