The Office of Equal Opportunity Programs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently granted Partnership Awards for Innovative and Unique Education and Research Projects totaling $780,737 to four faculty members from California State University, Los Angeles.
Jean Adenika-Morrow, professor of science education in the Division of Curriculum and Instruction, was awarded $197,998 over a two-year period for "An Inquiry Aeronautical Science Distance Learning Education Project." The project will produce a curriculum which integrates NASA Dryden flight research on "X-planes, multicultural scientists, and technology into four aeronautics/meteorology curriculum modules. The project will also offer science education courses and workshops to in-service teachers via a combination of Internet vehicles (e.g.: World Wide Web, electronic mail, interactive television and televised instruction). The goal is to enrich the science education knowledge base of elementary and middle school teachers who may not have a rich background in the discipline.
Milan B. Mijic, associate professor of Physics and Astronomy, will receive $198,404 over two years for his "Science Education through Extraterrestrial Research" (SEER). The project will fund the installation of the Cal State L.A. telescope at the JPL Table Mountain Observatory and a network of remote observing stations at Cal State L.A., Pasadena City College, Los Angeles City College and Los Angeles Southwest College. These facilities will allow the faculty at participating institutions to create educational materials based on real time data, and will enable larger number of students to participate in the JPL led research projects. The project will also expose students to the revolutionary interplay of astronomical research and network technology.
A two-year award of $184,335 was granted to Majdedin Mirmirani, professor of Mechanical Engineering, to support his study on the "Control of Hypersonic Air Vehicles, A Multidisciplinary Approach." The hypersonic air vehicles such as Hyper-X, X-38, and X-33 are at the center of NASA's program for development of reusable launch vehicles to unlock the vast potential of space for business exploration. Many proposed hypersonic vehicle concepts present significant challenge in many technological areas and specifically in guidance and flight control. These vehicles fly at 7-15 time speeds of sound (Mach 5-15) and traverse a broader flight envelope than any aircraft flown to date. The objectives of the funded research are: to develop a novel design methodology for the control of hypersonic vehicles; to develop a generalized approach for mathematical modeling of hypersonic vehicles based on direct numerical simulation; to involve Cal State L.A. students underrepresented in the field in research and expose them to NASA-related technology; and to conduct the proposed research collaboratively by establishing a partnership with Dryden Flight Research Center.
Chivey Wu, professor of Mechanical Engineering, was granted $200,000 over two years to work on "Integration of Configuration Design and Multidisciplinary Analysis of Aircraft." The objective of the proposed research is to integrate different computer-aided engineering software to expedite the configuration and structural designs of aircraft. Appropriate interfaces between selected aircraft design, solid modeling and multidisciplinary (aerodynamic, structural, thermal and control) engineering analysis software will be developed, so that the same database may be shared across these disciplines.
NASA's stated purpose in awarding these grants is to create partnerships among NASA-sponsored researchers, academic programs in the math, science, engineering and technology, and to join NASA Installations with Jet Propulsion Laboratory, other higher education institutions, and the aerospace community.
As a result of these partnerships and collaborative relationships, the Partnership Awards will produce more competitive undergraduate students who are better prepared to enter graduate programs or employment in NASA-related fields because of their research training and exposure to cutting-edge technologies. NASA-related projects that result from this funding will increase and foster collaborative inquiry by faculty and students, and promote broad and significant improvements to undergraduate teaching and research training. The grants also help to establish models that successfully use NASA-related research to enhance the content of science, mathematics, engineering and technology curriculum, exposing greater numbers of students and faculty to cutting-edge science and technology concepts and practices.
For more information, call the Office and Research and Sponsored Programs at (323) 343-5366.
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