WEX Foundation garners strong civic and political support for development of its proposed LCATS Space-STEM education program. The team comprised of WEX Foundation, the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) SA Prefreshman Engineering Program (SA-PREP), the Challenger Learning Center/Scobee Education Center, the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME), and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) are developing after-school/out-of-school space education projects using real-world problems in space exploration for students to engage in STEM learning experiences. Endorsement from San Antonio Representative Lamar Smith, as Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is especially noteworthy.
The WEX Foundation wants to send its STEM students to a US Geological Survey (USGS) training workshop to learn how to do planetary mapping for its LEAP2 program. WEXF uses the USGS learning opportunity to offer a travel stipend scholarship to motivated and deserving pre-freshman high school graduates or freshmen undergrad students to attend a two and a half day planetary mapping workshop for hands-on GIS training at the Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. The LEAP2 scholarship provides for travel and lodging expenses up to $1,500 for each student. Students must be 18 years or older. WEXF is using a crowdfunding campaign to fund the scholarship. The link to the funding campaign can be accessed HERE.
WEX Foundation and Austin based nonprofit, Skillpoint Alliance, have established an agreement to use the initial student challenge of the WEXF LEAP2 STEM education program for Skillpoint's STEM “Velocity Prep” program in aerospace education. The program participants will be a group of 20 juniors and seniors from, Lehman High School, Hays CISD. The 5 week program begins June 8th.
Under the Velocity program WEXF assumes the role of "client" for a student consulting team which is responsible for delivering a working prototype solution of a specific challenge issued through a Request For Proposal (RFP) submitted to the team. WEXF will challenge the students with a Lunar Pit Access project in which students will build a scaled lunar terrain model of the lunar pit known as the Marius Hills Skylight. They will use the model to test their own concepts for how to enter the pit robotically in a simulated mission for obtaining science measurements.
WEX Foundation takes delivery of a large 1/50th scale lunar terrain model replica of the Marius Hills skylight lunar pit. The model was created by a consulting team of students from Hays County Lehman High School enrolled in the Skillpoint Velocity Prep STEM program. The model was built and used by the students to explore various robotic reconnaissance concepts for entering the pit and accessing the cave for scientific measurements. View press release. See photo's and videos on Facebook.
WEX Foundation (WEXF) of San Antonio, Texas launched its website to promote project-based learning experiences in STEM education for space exploration It's goal is to promote aerospace career paths for students.
WEX Foundation has added two new team members to its "Lunar Caves Analog Test Sites (LCATS)" Space-STEM education program funded by NASA. The Korean Institute for Civil Engineering and Building Construction (KICT), and the International Space Exploration Research Institute (ISERI) at Hanyang University, both located in Seoul, South Korea, have agreed to provide collaborative support for LCATS student STEM projects. The addition to the team of these two world-class research institutes provides our students access to expertise in space civil engineering for planetary construction, and gives students the opportunity to experience first-hand the value of international cooperation with their LCATS student project development activities.
View our press release here.
The WEXF LEAP2 STEM student consulting team from Velocity Prep aerospace program visited Southwest Research institute (SwRI) planetary atmospheres labs in San Antonio, to learn about vacuums and space environment, conduct their own vacuum tests, and deliver interim report on their lunar pit access project. See photo's and videos on Facebook.
The WEX Foundation's Space-STEM education team, comprised of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) San Antonio Prefreshman Engineering Program (SA PREP), together with the Challenger Learning Center/Scobee Education Center, the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME), Steuck & Associates, and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) received a grant award from NASA to develop Space-STEM education projects. The $1.24M grant awarded to the team by NASA will be used to develop a "Lunar Caves Analog Test Sites (LCATS)" program for science investigations, space exploration mission operations, technology development, and habitability system architectures for Space STEM learning performance. LCATS goals include preparing and encouraging underrepresented minorities, female and economically disadvantaged students to pursue higher education and careers in human space exploration. For more details:
View our press release here.
View press release from our team member Southwest Research Institute here.
View LCATS in the news here.
WEX Foundation invited by United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to attend UN space symposium in Graz, Austria, Sept 3-7, 2017. WEX Board Chair, Sam Ximenes, and WEX Executive Director Louise Cantwell selected as symposium delegates to discuss LCATS concept for a Space-STEM international student exchange program.
View presentation abstract here.
WEX Foundation is pleased to announce finalization of a new grant award received from NASA valued at $750K. The "New Worlds Await You - National STEM Challenges for Student Space Exploration" STEM engagement program targets at-risk middle school students in urban and rural communities across the nation, through a national network of after-school Space-STEM enrichment clubs using space architecture and exploration for theme-based activities. The New Worlds program uses our partner organization, Communities In Schools (CIS) national network, active in 25 states with 131 CIS affiliates serving at-risk students in over 363 schools districts and 2,300 K-12 sites as the venue for student participation in our Launchpad and Space Clubs program model, developed by Communities In Schools of San Antonio who will lead the effort for CIS.
View our press release here.
WEX Foundation and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) SA Prefreshman Engineering Program (SA-PREP) have teamed together with the Challenger Learning Center/Scobee Education Center, the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME), and with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to develop space-STEM education projects. The team will develop a "Lunar Caves Analog Test Sites (LCATS)" program for science investigations, space exploration mission operations, technology development, and habitability system architectures for Space STEM learning performance. LCATS goals include preparing and encouraging underrepresented minorities, female and economically disadvantaged students to pursue higher education and careers in human space exploration.