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What is NCAS?


NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) builds a diverse future STEM workforce by engaging two-year degree seeking students in authentic learning experiences. NCAS is a blended-learning experience comprised of a five week online course and a unique NASA experience. Students get a closer look at NASA’s unique missions, diverse workforce, and world-class facilities and learn how to develop their talents, interests, and passion to become future STEM professionals. NCAS offers the online course twice a year with NASA experiences happening throughout the year.


Full NCAS Mission Patch


Patch Description

NCAS is bold and prominent atop Mars, representing the goal for community college students to boldly engage in NASA’s legacy of discovery, leadership, and opportunity.  Mars is shown as theme around which teams of scholars compete to design, build, and test a robotic explorer. The red, gold, navy, and green arcs represent the four NCAS team colors. The atom, computer, gears, and pi icons represent the students’ pursuit of degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM. The six bright stars represent the Agency’s six areas of research and exploration:  Earth, Flight, Humans in Space, Solar System, Technology and Moon to Mars. Through the online course and onsite experience, NCAS seeks to make NASA content relevant, compelling, accessible, and participatory. The thin blue line evokes our home planet and the need to cultivate the next generation of explorers to reach for new heights, reveal the unknown, and benefit all human kind.



  • Online Experience

    The online experience is a five week self-paced online course where scholars learn about NASA missions and research. 


    During the online experience scholars will:

    • Receive guidance and support from trained professional educators.
    • Interact with fellow aerospace scholars
    • Attend subject matter expert lectures 
    • Engage with NASA’s interactive online multimedia content
    • Complete quizzes and a final project.
  • NASA Experience

    Students who successfully complete the online course may receive an invitation to participate in a NASA experience.  


    During the NASA experience scholars will:

    • Compete in a STEM engineering design challenge
    • Network with NASA’s diverse STEM workforce
    • Collaborate with like-minded students in a team environment
    • Receive resume feedback from a STEM professional
    • Learn how to navigate NASA internships
    • Strengthen understanding of STEM by enabling powerful connections to NASA’s mission and work.


  • Eligibility
    • U.S. citizenship
    • High school graduate or equivalent and at least 18 years of age
    • Currently attend a U.S. community college
    • Concurrent enrollment or completion of 9+ hours of STEM coursework
    • Able to commit to a 5 week online session
    • Internet access
    • Have not previously attended an NCAS onsite workshop
  • Application Information

    To complete the application you must provide:

    • Current community college transcripts that include:
      • Your name
      • Your school’s name
      • 9 hours of STEM courses, either completed
        or in progress
    • Contact information
    • Recommendation form to be completed by a professor
    • 300 word essay

    List of application questions


    Once your application is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive this email, please contact



The material contained on this website is based upon work supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award Number 80NSSC17M0021. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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