NASA is awarding a $2.8 million grant to the Indiana Space Grant Consortium, headquartered at Purdue University, to support student and faculty learning projects. Purdue says the grant will provide funding through 2024 to support NASA student internships and fellowships, STEM experiences for students and faculty, as well as public engagement with STEM disciplines throughout the state.
The consortium, which is part of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, aims to help spark interest in STEM disciplines.
“Despite the pandemic, we are continuing to support virtual student internships and programs,” said Barrett Caldwell, director of the consortium and professor of industrial engineering in Purdue’s College of Engineering. “We have worked hard this summer to help shift students to virtual opportunities, including computation projects, computer modeling and data analysis. NASA looks at its internship and co-op programs as the primary pools from which to hire new staff members.”
According to Caldwell, most of the funding will be put toward research grants and workforce development opportunities for university students around Indiana.
“NASA has a priority in Indiana and across all states to help develop a strong and diverse workforce,” said Caldwell. “NASA provides a research enterprise that goes well beyond space. The work being done impacts issues in Indiana such as remote sensing, soil moisture and drug delivery.
Purdue says Caldwell will receive its Seed for Success Award for his work in securing the grant. The award recognizes efforts in obtaining a $1 million or more external-sponsored award.