NASA K-12 Aerospace Academy Program

NASA MUREP Aerospace Academy of Northeastern North Carolina


Mobile STEM Lab

Program Overview

The NASA MUREP Aerospace Academy of Northeastern North Carolina (NENC) is a collaborative effort between Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) and the National Aeronautical and Space Administration. NASA has a long-standing history of establishing effective and meaningful school partnerships. These partnerships have historically provided opportunities to students that are underrepresented, underserved and underperforming students in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) education. This legacy continues with NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Aerospace Academy (MAA). This program seeks to continue the history of establishing meaningful school partnerships in STEM education for K-12 youth. The program continues to assist underserved, underrepresented and underperforming students in STEM education. The program will adopt a well-established NASA STEM curriculum with problem-based learning at its core and integrate 3D printing technology, sensor-based measurement systems, and mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) design to enhance authentic and experiential learning experiences.  ECSU is a premier public institution serving Northeastern North Carolina (NENC), providing affordable academic programs and services of exceptional caliber in a nurturing environment.


Goals and Objectives

The goal of NASA MUREP Aerospace Academy (MAA) project at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is to improve STEM literacy by engaging students, family members and teachers through integration of emerging technologies.

The specific objectives of the aerospace-themed academy project are to:

  • Increase the number of historically underserved and underrepresented students from NENC region and beyond are interested in NASA specific STEM careers. 

  • Provide skills to parents/caregivers to work with and encourage their children in STEM activities and programs. 

  • Involve community groups, business, industry, museums and educational and professional organizations through mentoring, field trips, guest speakers and other MAA activities.
  • Engage students in participatory activities such as inquiry-based hands-on-learning, research, use of advanced technology, in a mentoring relationship with professionals working in the STEM fields.

The expected outcomes of the MAA project are:

  • Increased understanding of STEM content and NASA Missions, both for students and family members
  • Enable students in grades K-12 to successfully advance through challenging STEM courses
  • Increased interest in pursuing STEM knowledge, STEM degrees and careers
  • Increased family participation in STEM experiences
  • Increased awareness of NASA STEM careers, both for students and family members
  • Increase in number of historically underserved and underrepresented students selecting a STEM major for post-secondary

The 3 Key Program Components

Curriculum Enhancement Activities (CEA) – Hands-on, inquiry-based K-12 STEM curricula

The MAA program at ECSU utilizes current existing grade appropriate CEAs offered through SEMAA and integrate 3D printing, sensor-based measurement modules, and mini quadcopter UAV design to further enhance the learning experience. Students participating in the MAA program will complete a total of forty (40) hours per year.

Aerospace Educational Laboratory (AEL)

The computerized classroom puts technology at the fingertips of MAA elementary, middle and/or high school students. The MAA AEL consists of fifteen computerized lab stations loaded with CEAs with specific emphasis on the NASA Science and Aeronautics Research Mission Directorates. These lab stations support laboratory modules that are directly related to and augment various STEM subjects and topics. 

Family Connection – parental involvement and outreach

The Family Connection is an interactive forum that provides STEM education and parenting or caregiving information to any supportive adult role model(s) who interacts with the students.  The Family Connection consist of three major elements: (i) Family Focus Groups, (ii) Family Nights, and (iii) Home-Based Family Initiatives. The goal is to include parents/families as a partner with NASA and the NASA MAA Sites in the planning, design and implementation of the NASA MAA that support the Next Generation Science Standards and with a strong emphasis on math and science literacy for 21st century learners.



Kuldeep S. Rawat, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator/Site Director
NASA K-12 Aerospace Academy Program @ECSU
1704 Weeksville Rd
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Ph: 252-335-3846