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Center for NASA Research & Technology

South Carolina State University


New Directions
in Astronomy & Astrobiology

Minority University and College Education
and Research Partnership Initiative (MUCERPI) in Space Science
(NRA 03-OSS-03)




South Carolina State University (SCSU) has completed two highly successful years under its NASA MUCERPI-2003 award. A wide range of space science activities have been supported in the areas of research, education and outreach.

Impact on the Faculty at SCSU

  • 9 SCSU Faculty members directly impacted
  • 3 NASA Faculty Fellowship Applications Submitted, 1 was awarded
  • Funding proposals submitted (3 funded, 3 declined)
  • $103,500 funded by proposals
  • 5 Peer-reviewed journal articles published
  • 5 Professional conference talks
  • 3 Faculty seminar talks
  • 11 Professional conference posters
  • Program recognition in September 2005 "Physics Today"
  • Curriculum enhancement in space science
  • Expanded research partnership with the Goddard Center for Astrobiology
  • New EPO Partnership with the NASA SOFIA Mission
  • New Research Partnership with Vanderbilt University
  • Continuing Research Partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Near completion of the 1.3-meter "Robotically Controlled Telescope" at KPNO
  • Visiting Speaker program featured speakers from

  • - NASA Langley
    - Lawrence Livermore
    - Vanderbilt University
    - University of Washington
    - Planetary Science Institute
    - University of South Carolina
  • Assisted in selection of new Planetarium Manager, a soon-to-be Ph.D. astronomer
  • Working with other Minority Institutions (Mis) and NASA to Participate in a Mission Lead by MIs

Summary of Student Impacts

  • A total of 17 students participated
  • A total of 2 student AAS posters
  • A total of 17 student seminar talks
  • One student received a summer internship at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Student majors represented included

  • - physics
    - biology
    - computer science
    - electrical engineering technology
    - industrial engineering technology
    - math education
  • Student home institutions included

  • - South Carolina State University
    - Elizabeth City State University
    - North Carolina A&T

Impact on Curriculum

  • NEW Astronomy Option for Physics Majors
  • NEW Astronomy Minor for all other Majors
  • NEW Course: Physics 322 - Introduction to Astrobiology
  • NEW Course: Physics 326 - Introduction to Astrophysics
  • NEW Course: Physics 338 - Scientific Image Analysis
  • Revised Course: Physical Science 203 - Elementary Astronomy
  • Revised Course: Physical Science 152 - Earth/Space Science
  • Revised Course: Physical Science 153 - Earth/Space Science Lab

Faculty, Research and Outreach Collaborators

  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - J. Thieman, T. Gull, M. Mumma, M. DiSanti, J. Dworkin, J. Harrington, R. Oliversen, C. Ng & S. Stockman
  • NASA Ames Research Center - D. Backman & E. DeVore (SETI)
  • Collaborating with 5 other NASA MUCERPI Schools - Fisk/Vanderbilt, Medgar Evers, Norfolk State, NC A&T, U. Houston-Downtown
  • Collaborating with 4 of the NASA Broker/Facilitators - SERCH, DePaul University, MARSSB & NESSIE
  • Partnering with all 4 NASA Explorer Schools in South Carolina
  • Lawrence Livermore National Lab - D. Dearborn & K. Reed
  • Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute - M. Castelaz, D. Cline, C. Osborne
  • " Other HBCUs & MIs - Bennett College, Elizabeth City State, Talladaga College & Tennessee State
  • Astronomers at Caltech, Fayetteville State, the Planetary Science Institute, Talladega College, Vanderbilt University, Villanova & Western Kentucky University
  • Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College

K-12 Students & Teachers and General Public

  • SCSU partnered with all four NASA Explorer Schools in South Carolina
  • A total of 217 teachers participated in workshops and courses from 2004-06
  • SCSU hosted a teacher workshop with the NASA MESSENGER Mission EPO Lead
  • A total of 580 students were served through various events such a talks, observing sessions, demonstrations and visits to their local schools
  • A total of 223 members of the general public participated in a variety of activities including observing the lunar eclipse in October 2004
  • SCSU MUCERPI Faculty are participating the revitalization of the SCSU planetarium and its service to the campus, K-12 schools and the community
Annual Reports: Year 1, Year 2