PC student Zoe Bozich is enrolled in Peninsula College’s CAD CNC class this quarter and was recently selected to travel to NASA’s Ames Research Center this spring to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars project (NCAS). She was selected as one of 348 community college students from across the U.S. to participate in the program.
The five-week scholars program culminates with a four-day on-site event at Ames Research Center and offers students the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and others as they learn more about careers in science and engineering. While at NASA, students form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team is responsible for developing and testing a prototype rover, forming a company infrastructure, managing a budget, and developing communications and outreach.
The on-site experience at NASA includes a tour of facilities and briefings by NASA subject matter experts.
Recently, Bozich took time to talk with us about what the NCAS opportunity means to her, and her PC experience.
NASA has been my dream since high school. I’ve always been interested in math and engineering. Then I became interested in space and aerospace engineering, so I started researching NASA. I made that my focus in high school and then went to Peninsula College to develop the groundwork math courses. Last fall I saw an ad for the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program and decided to enroll.
I was accepted by NCAS and am excited to meet people who actually work at NASA at the event. I am interested in hearing their perspectives and how they ended up working there. I look forward to meeting like-minded people, and to the learning opportunities. NASA is the place for scientific dreamers and that is where I want to be. This is my dream!
I took the CNC course at PC because I am interested in computer drafting and design. I had taken a similar class in high school with the same program (Solid Works), so I was looking forward to fleshing out my knowledge. I wanted to lay better groundwork in the area and to relate it to manufacturing. I wanted to get into the more practical uses of the program, and computer aided drafting in general.
I decided to go to PC because it was convenient financially. I also needed to redefine myself as a student to get where I wanted to go, which is NASA. PC is a great school that has a lot of opportunities with fun classes, and a great nonjudgmental environment to figure things out, and get ready to move on. It has been a secure place to explore these things.
I like the CNC program’s practical application. It really feels like the things that I am learning will be useful in my career. It makes me think about the way things are manufactured rather just the way things are designed. I like that I can move at my own pace. I just really like computer aided drafting; it’s really fun to me.
In the future I want to work for NASA. I want to be an innovator – part of developing new technologies, and getting astronauts to Mars, which is the plan for the 2030’s. I want to be a part of doing this amazing impossible thing that is flying to Mars. I have been accepted into Western Washington University and I’m deciding between mathematics and a general engineering program. I would like to get into the field as soon as possible so that I can work out what my next direction will be.