Gadsden State Community College working with NASA - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Gadsden State Community College working with NASA

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GADSDEN - AL -

Four students at Gadsden State Community College, each pursuing degrees in electronic engineering technology have gotten the attention of NASA.

As a team, they submitted a robotics proposal, that was tested at the Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston, miles above earth, aboard a DC9 specifically designed to simulate zero gravity flight.

Audrey Webb serves as the group's instructor and mentor. Her students spent months experimenting and studying the behavior of organic solvents in water under zero gravity.

The project was a success

"We built the whole project here at Gadsden State, ran it in the lab and got it working properly," says Webb. "It was really exciting to see that it worked, because we put so much work into it, we only had a few weeks to get everything working."

This was the first time a community college team was given an opportunity to test their project with NASA.

Team leader, Steven Martinez says, it was unlike anything he's ever experienced.

"You work and you work, and you plan ahead. But once you're out there, it's an amazing experience. You meet all kinds of cool people who are passionate about everything they do," says Martinez.

These students are just as passionate about science and technology.  It was that desire, that brought them to study electronic engineering at Gadsden State.

Tim Green, dean of technical education and workforce development says there's a career demand that two years schools like Gadsden State can fill.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Gadsden State to show off the quality of students that choose this college to further their education," says Green. "When students finish these programs, depending on where you fall out in the class, if you're in the top 10 or top 20 percent of your class, you're going to make an exceptional salary and you will have several choices of employment."

Now, Martinez and fellow team member, Johnathan Williams, are preparing for an internship opportunity in Pasadena, California.

They will be working in the NASA jet propulsion lab. Developing robots that will be used in future space exploration.

They leave for their internship next week.

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