tv Hearing on NASA Workforce STEM Education CSPAN November 11, 2019 4:11am-6:00am EST
watch on c-span or stream any time on demand at c-span .org/impeachment. >> a hearing now on the future of the nasa workforce. space industry leaders, scientists and stem education teachers testify about partnerships between universities and nasa to build a science and technology-based workforce. the senate committee held this our and 45-minute hearing. senator cruz: good afternoon. this hearing is called to order. i'm very pleased to see a hearing on stem and math and science and precision starting precisely 2:30 and zero seconds. that is an auspicious way to begin this discussion. early this year on one of the
hottest nights of the summer, nearly half a million people crowded on to the national mall. they were not there for a protest or to celebrate a national holiday and they were not there for a concert or to watch a fireworks show. no, instead half a million people went there drenched in sweat to watch the story of the apollo 11 mission as it was projected on to the washington monument commemorating the neal 50 years ago when armstrong and buzz aldrin took that giant leap for mankind. if there is half a million people on the lawn and it is not a protest, something big is going on. land on the moon and returning safely to earth marks as one of the epical moments in the
history of mankind. what we see now is very different than the landscape of 1969. not only did we succeed going to moon and back again but we have gone on to put robotic rovers on distant planets and are k literally peer into the beginningings of the universe and we have established a human presence in lower earth orbit. in the span of a single lifetime, we have seen space fundamentally transformed to an integral part of our daily lives in world economy. space is often referred to as the last frontier. and rightfully so. much like the first frontiers of exploration, space is hard. planning etic louse
and even then nothing is guaranteed. it is dangerous. but the last frontier shares a critical aspect with the first frontiers. through its power now and tomorrow to inspire us. the space race of the 1960's inspired americans to aim higher, to dream bigger than they ever had before. to literally shoot for the moon. and i believe the burjonning space sector of today can do the same for a bigger and broader swath for the united states and the world. just a few weeks ago, we witnessed the historic all-female spacewalk on the international space station. the first ever. and when the united states returns to the moon as part of artemis, ofprogram,
course being the twin sister of apollo, nasa has committed that we will land the first woman ever on the surface of the moon and it will be an american astronaut who steps forth on the moon. as the father of two young daughters, that makes me very proud indeed. as we return to bold spacex employeration, we do so not only with a much more diverse astronaut core but also with a ch more diverse set of nongovernmental partners. it is worth remembering the success of apollo 11 and the national space program as a whole is due in no small part to the contributionsor a workforce including countless women working behind the scenes whose stories have only recently become household names. one of those women, dr. christine darden testified before the subcommittee earlier
this career. she was one of the famed early human computers at nasa and without her work and the work of many other so-called computers, many of them african-american women, we never could have sent astronauts into space, let alone brought them back safely. unfortunately for far too long dr. darden and the other human computers contributions were hidden, relegated to the background for a time. her story and the story of others like her serves as a reminder of the lessons we need to learn to ensure we are cultivating a talent and leadership not based on race or gender but based on merritt, ard work, skill and passion. we have returned to spacex employeration. has the skilled base of people it needs to be successful now
and in the future. to ensure we continue to grow, we will be successful in establishing the united states f america as the leader in a space nation. get kids of all ages, backgrounds, resources, excited about science and technology and engineering and math. ut that alone is not enough. it will require us to take a serious look at the road ahead, to explore unconventional roles in ps and responsibility. getting it right will be a complex and challenging undertaking. after all, space is hard. but i'm reminded and encouraged that the apollo 11 flight
director said when he testified in front of this subcommittee in july last year. what america will dare, america will do. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses today about their work in stem education and what suggestions they might have for how we in congress can act. i want to thank in particular the ranking member for her initiative for proposing that we hold this hearing, her -- andhip and bip -- lip bipartisanship leadership that formed this committee. >> if we don't build a strong stem education pipeline we will face a deficit of our workers. congress, several agencies like nasa, industry partners and most
importantly educational institutions must work together to quop develop and prepare a 21st century workforce so we continue to lead in space and our economy remains strong. thank you to our guests today for joining us to discuss this important issue. since it was established in 1958, nasa has productive partnerships with universities across the country. as we develop more advanced space technologies, set large goals and grow our aero space -- we must ensure we have a strong workforce. this starts with educating students. universities and students across the country currently work with nasa on important projects such as mission monitoring, research and analysis. in my home state of arizona, arizona state arizona, university of arizona and northern arizona university all work with nasa to further its
missions big and small. the talented faculty across the state bring new opportunities to students. when administrator briden stein testified earlier this year, he had amazing success in developing these programs and projects. he first time the universe has led -- remarkably similar to a planetary core. university of arizona is also paving the way for -- dr. loretta leads the science team and the mission science observations. the team is critical to this mission.
all through the arizona -- participate in the arizona space ium. consort they work with -- and retain students. he partners awarded 175 paid internships to arizona students in 2018 alone which allows students to work alongside investigators. is offers us a u.s. critical insights into space. students are not the only ones benefiting. push the boundaries of what we thought were possible. when the administrator testified, he saw that projects
typically meet costs and schedule. when money and time are limited and projects are -- these achieved.ps are we pertain the knowledge that mes them and train the nest generation. that is the only way we can ensure we have workers ready to keep america at the forefront of space. this week we're introducing legislation. the national aeronautics act of 2019 which i'm looking forward to introducing chairman thune and wicker and cantwell. to encourage students to pursue careers in technical education and give nasa the ability to establish and grow lasting partnerships between itself and universities through research centers. i'm also proud to work with the senator on legislation which
will modernize the space grant program for the first time since 1988 and ensure states with the resources to recruit and train he next scientists and mathematicians. thank you so much mr. chairman. i yield back. senator cruz: thank you, i now recognize the chairman of the full committee for his opening stoiment. senator wicker: well, i want to congratulate my two colleagues on their excellent opening statements. senator cruz describes the crowds witnessing the 50th anniversary in dramatic, almost poetic words. i could almost sense the pungent throng, of the sweaty gathered on the mall. senator cruz: almost like a senate hearing.
nator wicker: and clerk will note cross talk. just say cross talk. [laughter] in the 50 years since the apollo 11, nasa has continued to achieve incredible feats. would these missions have been possible without america's education system. university researchers continue to lead groundbreaking projects in space technology and scientific discovery. in doing so, they involve students, some of whom become scientists. some of whom become engineers. others mathematicians. for nasa and in the private sector. maintaining this pipeline is vital to maintaining america's
preeminence in outer space. i'm glad to be a co-sponsor of the legislation senator sinema mentioned. today session is a cross section of the nasa stem education ecosystem. i would like to extend a particular welcome to josh gladden from my alma mater, the university of mississippi. ole miss worked with research on graphene, a material with transformtive potential for many applications including spaceflight. this past weekend nasa launched a payload to the international space station. thank you all for being here today. i look forward to a great discussion on stem engagement to help build the space force. senator cruz: thank you, mr.
chairman. i will say your remarks reminded of my ing up, both parents are mathematicians about an old engineer's joke about the washington monument. they are each discussing how to figure out how tall it is. the mathematician says it is very simple. i need a length of string and a transit. i can measure. it is a simple matter of trig nom tri-. the physicist says it is much simpler than that. i'll take the elevator to the top. take a string and lower it down and measure the length of the string. the engineer looks at both of them and looks at the tour guide and says how tall is the damn thing? with that, i'm happy to introduce our witnesses. our first witness, dr. lynn lind -- dr. linda tarbox
elkins-tanton is the director of the interplanetary initiative at arizona state university. her research revolves around trest yell planetary formation, magma oceans and subsequent planetary evloev lucian including magma tism and rocky planets and their atmospheres and participates in education initiatives such as inquiry and exploration and leadership and team building for scientists and engineers. she serves on the standing review board for the europa mission and served on the panel or the decadal survey. she received her ph.d. in geology and geophysics from mit. our second witness is mr.
jeffrey man ber. since nine, nanoracks has created products and offered research services for the commercial utilization of space. today nanoracks is the single largest private investor on the international space station with over $40 million of private capital dedicated to commercial facilities and equipment. they employee 70 people in texas and have launched 250 small satellites and over 800 specials to the i.s.s.. mr. manber is also chairman to dreamup. it allows students to pursue students in space research and education. he is a graduate of northwestern university. ur third witness is dr. josh gland. -- gladden.
he works in research and research funding and provides support for all funding projects at the university. prior to this role, he served as associate vice chancellor for research and physical acoustics. he also served in elected national positions as a member of the exiver committee and chair of the physical acoustics technical committee of the acoustical society of america. received a ph d degree in physicses from pennsylvania state university and finally ms. shella condino is a physics advisor of the residio rocketry club.
240 miles south of el paso and resighs in one of the most emote parts of the the continental united states. for most people in presidio, english is a second language. it is hard for students to focus solely on school. hour even under those circumstances, the rocketry club has skintly placed well in con -- consistently placed well in contests across the country and respected a well robertry respected robertry team. during her time at presidio, they have qualified for the national finals at the team america rocketry challenge. 2011, ms. condino was received the scott crossfield aerospace education teacher of the year award. she received her bachelors manila, physics from
philippines. with that, i welcome dr. elkins-tanton to give her testimony. >> thank you for the opportunity to speak today. i am testifying in my own ehalf. i'm p.i. of the nasa discovery mission psych, the in the discovery portfolio as mentioned by chairman cruz. thank you. e have a vision. we have a vision an optimistic human space future, we, in this room, have this vision, where we are an interplanetary species, and where our space exploration improves society on earth and our knowledge and care of earth itself.
those are the stakes that we're talking about. these really are huge times for us, thinking about going interplanetary, taking these steps. here are three key university partnership needs. first is workforce development. we need talent to support the growing aspirations of our nation, and to work with other countries as the world's continued leader in space. therefore, education has to be future-facing, and workforce-oriented. i think this is an important thing to stress. we're in the information age now. we need to look forward. second, returning to the moon, this time to stay, will require more than just engineers, astronauts, and scientists. we need everyone involved. and s and philosophers business leaders.
they are really good at putting together a push to become interplanetary. third, the stakeholder triangle of nasa, universities, private sector is necessary for our space future requires the full involvement of. non-profit universities are uniquely placed to communicate the needs, create rapid responsive teams, and transfer the research and technology intellectual property produced at universities through partnership with nasa into the private sector, to the great benefit of both the space industry and the american taxpayer. transfer has to speed up. now is the time to grow our partnerships in these more fruitful, targeted ways: now is the time to set up university affiliated research centers and other such mechanisms to speed up the development of specific solutions, and accelerate the flow of knowledge and technology to nasa and to the private sector. asu is here to meet this challenge with a student population of 100k+ and as the #1 ranked school for innovation, five years in a row. it stishes me, coming from the east coast to see transfer has
public university can be and so many of us in this room understand the value of these amazing institutions and we're lucky in arizona to have several. at a.s.u., our partners include 30 universities and government agencies and labs and centers. ofeel strongly this triangle nasa, universities, private sector is necessary for our space future requires the full involvement of. non-profit universities are uniquely placed to communicate the needs, create rapid responsive teams, and transfer the research we pioneered ways to create interdisciplinary teams where
students learn real team skills while working on real nasa mission challenges. we have for example student graphic designers project managers and marketers working with for example student electrical and mechanic a.m. engineers. this is where the project managers actually get to help anage a project. managers actually get to help manage a project. we have a total of over 500 students who worked with psych already. universitys from 15 states. i say this to underscore my personal commitment that this is ot just about my university
to work effectively in teams sharing information, criticizing and sharing information and giving feedback. things we don't arch practice until we're in the workforce. this is the education of the future. we have to teach the process cycles. in fall of 2020, the interplanetary mission launched the most forward-looking program to date. it is a part of our answer to education in the information age. the bachelor of science in tech logical leadership is a scaleable three-year degree program using exploration
learning techniques in the classroom and having students spend time in internship. they will learn programming, statistics, calculus, collaborative problem solving, communication, positive team psychology and learn team communication, ethical leadership and critical thinking via a special methodology that we have been working on for years. we can accelerate space development by connecting universities, nasa and the private sector for knowledge sharing and rapidly targeted innovation. more importantly, we can create and deploy the teams with members of all three sectors to solve the greatest challenges. together with our sister universities, let's go to space together.
>> thank you, committee members. thank you for giving me the opportunity to return to this room to testify. i'm going to talk about something a little different. about how we can use and we are using the commercial pathway to space to ensure we have a workforce for the nextgen ration and beyond to keep us in the nation. space fairing when we opened the doors of nanoracks, we were met with a pleasant surprise. our first customers were schools. omething we never predicted. the paraphernalias literally held bake sales.
not to sponsor their soccer team, or raise money for the school dance, but to send their very own science experiment to the international space station via a nanoracks space act agreement with nasa. this is something that could never be imagined before the commercial pathway. nanoracks standardized and miniaturized technologies as well has created programs that ade something as complicated and expensive as space, into something that was both affordable and doable within one school year. one of our major educational partners is the student spaceflight experiments program, run by dr. jeff goldstein, whic and expensive as space, into something that was both affordable and doable within one school year. one of our major educational partners is the student spaceflight experiments program, run by dr. jeff goldstein, which has been a flagship program for nanoracks and dreamup since our first flights on the space shuttle. dr. goldstein's program is now on their 15th mission to the pace station, and he has zwhrust weekend, nanoracks flew and you may have heard that the first customer is the delta -- laugh or say you
this has no place in an educational hearing, let me say the double tree and hilton are working with scholastics and put 15,000 in place in 15,000 schools across the country involving one million students with curriculums to show them how baking is different. this is how we capture the hearts and minds of the younger people and let me say this will one day bring humans to mars and yes, they are going to want dessert when they get there. he commercial ply funded -- -- commurblely funded -- the d.n.a. sequencing. all paid for by the parents, the tudents, the sponsors.
this is a new model. for ensuring education of our workforce. let me add that nanoracks is -- by almost 60 -- from texas schools. burleson, el paso, san antonio, austin. i hope my new york twang didn't destroy anything there. enator sinema, we have flown our missions to arizona. it was wonderful to meet all of he students.
i'm happy i'm happy to provide a full list statistics for all of the districts i'm happy to provide a full list statistics for all of the districts. we can do better and we can do more to prepare the workforce for the coming economy. first off, we know we can do ore. we begun a dedicated -- to involve historically black colleges and universities. our first university -- in the second couple of weeks and secondly, we must do more than ust have -- space is more than we begun a satellites and rockets. we have to engagal agricultural colleges like texas a&m. biology involve our partments and pharmaceutical students to find a cure for ncer and finally by 2025, as an industry focused on a return
-- he moon, nanoracks has and dreamup is working to ensure we send one student project to the international space station. this is how we make sure we open the eyes of all students. the excitement, the tools, the responsiveness to the private sector. we need to ensure the workforce of tomorrow is ready to keep us on the moon, move us on to mars and just as importantly, unlock discoveries in the you can environment, space. thank you. senator cruz: thank you. dr. gladden. dr. gladden: mr. chairman, member turnovers subcommittee.
provide nasa with the engineers and scientists needed to keep this mission into the nextgen ration. chairman cruz, you did a fantastic job introducing me, if you go back a little further, i was a physics instructor for ive years. the complexity of missions at nasa will increase. we have to prepare a workforce eady to meet those challenges. he necessity to ingrain a path for lifelong learning. they are coming once a decade. we are several programs in the process of building a unique 200,000 square foot stem
education facility. what makes this space unique is that it is designed from the ground up around collaboration across dispeninsula and active learning teaching methods that focus on small group project work and interact i ever echnologies. other unique program at u.m. on group ts focus project communication skills and understanding a holistic view of a particular problem from the technical all the way to the financial. we cannot predict the technologies that these graduates will engage during their careers but we know that they will aults always need to work in teams and understand the
big r picture. niversities play a key role in developing engineering principles. addtive manufacturing and construction are important examples. design thinking helps break down complex multidimensional problems into a manageable framework. engineering realizes those designs through highly efficient manufacturing. manufacturing and additive construction will play vital roles in any long-term space mission whether the missions are based on the moon or a manned mission to mars. they will need to be printed as they are needed. any larger scale structures on the surface of the moon or a planet will require using native materials and construction technologies. the role of advanced materials
will be increasingly important in the nextgen ration of space systems design. materials such as graphene have been studied for several decades and are merging as new technologies. we designed a graphenepoll mer material that was just launched. for protection, it will spend about a year in space and it is designed to protect against hyper velocity impacts. in a year we'll see how the experiment went. let me be clear. both graduate and undergraduate students played critical roles in all of these research experiments. perhaps less obvious but
increasingly important and an important skillset is around space activities are legal and regulatory issues. u.m. is home to the national air and space law center along with the journal for space law since 1973. as space activities continue to grow, legal frameworks need to be developed and studied to best informed decision make rs. they are praying the first air force law and masters program in the nation. let me take a moment to emphasize here along with others who have already spoken on it, the importance of the nasa space program. this program includes space, science and engineer research opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students from a wide swath of the country.
nothing can hook a college student than working on a real world problem with nasa engineers. i thank the subcommittee for your attention and welcome questions when it is time. senator cruz: thank you. ms. condino. ms. condino: first, i thank god for allowing me to be part of this stem endeavor. second, thanks to all of you for giving me this opportunity today to share and give my testimony about the impact of stem engagement especially to the underrepresented, minorities, women and rural communities. i have been a physics educator for 27 years, and i have been an advocate of interdisciplinary and applied approach to learning even before i've heard of the acronym stem in the late 1990's. i strongly believe in practical and experiential learning, as i yself learn best by doing.
who does not enjoy hands-on and minds-on activities? or the adventure of putting theory into practice? or bringing knowledge to life? much more solving real-world problems? the power of this method of learning gives students a sense of responsibility, accountability and ownership in their own learning. every day before i start teaching, i always try reminding myself of this quote. tell me and i forget, teach me and i may remember, involve me and i learn. honestly, i've always wanted to tell my former teachers about that quote, so that they can have a better understanding of what kind of a student i was when i was young. but i never got the courage to tell them anyway. so now, this quote has become my
daily reminder that as a teacher i need to create a learning environment that is transformative, engaging, fun and where learning remains implicitly. teaching in presidio high school in texas, which is a border town, rural, geographically solated and economically disadvantage school, is one of the highlights of my teaching areer. i've had my most meaningful and fulfilling experiences as an educator in that school district. it is most challenging yet, it is the most rewarding. with more than 60% of the tudents identified as english
nguage learns, 95% hispanic, it is -- it truly challenged my creativity in teaching. thus what i did is i used my passion for aviation and aerospace and began incorporating basic rocketry in my physics teaching. i also created a free summer enrichment program in rocketry and robotics to provide students activities that will make their minds engaged. his idea came to mind when i attended the first graduation i had in that school where there were four empty seats placed in remembrance of the four students who died due to drug related events, drag racing ccident and suicide. i felt the urgent need for
my intervention, a sense of responsibility to the community by keeping these children away from bad elements such drugs, alcohol, teenage pregnancy, and street racing. hence, i founded the presidio rocketry and robotics club in 2007 and created teams competing at the american rocketry challenge, a stem initiative, the world's largest model rocketry contest. the program grew. membership starting from three young girls to more than 30 students. with the support of my co-sponsor ms. adelina portillo, who is an e.s.l. teacher. i don't speak spanish. that was the hardest thing for me to be able to do to be able to speak to a group of kids.
we tried english. we tried. the administrators, staff and teachers, community of presidio and companies who helped sponsor our program it became popular amongst high school and middle school students. even our neighboring rural schools were encouraged and inspired to do the same initiative for their tudents. presidio gained national recognition due to its consistent placement in the top 100 in the nation at tarc since 2009 to present. in 2012, we got invited to the whitehouse science fair and our team presented their rockets to president obama. because we mostly finished in the top 25 in the national finals, presidio team got the chance to participate at the nasa student launch initiative project, an advanced-high-power rocketry program where students design, build, and launch a rocket which carries scientific
or engineering payloads. these aerospace stem initiatives allowed our students to enhance their critical thinking, analytical and metacognition skills; conduct scientific research, improve their communication skills both oral and written, develop time management and organization, utilize technology through software and simulations, problem-solve and trouble shoot, and collaborate to make wise decisions. through these programs, my students developed stem skills and soft skills employers are looking for in the future workplace. our students also became involved in the nasa texas high school aerospace scholars program, texas alliance for minorities in engineering stem tatewide contest, texas tech stem academic competition
botball robotics in state and world championships, tcea robotics, vex robotics, even in the prestigious zero robotics virtual contest held at mit. this sounds impossible to believe. the record of what my students at presidio have done. in manber also participated the student spaceflight experiments program ssep mission 2 to the iss, where we sent a microgravity flight experiment to the international space station on spacex-1 falcon 9 rocket and dragon spacecraft and compared results of our own ground earth experimentations. this achievement is truly special because students collaborated and communicated with the astronauts onboard the iss, and the community of presidio developed an awareness and exposure to stem literacy. i left presidio hs in 2014 and relocated in northern virginia. however, i continue to mentor
the presidio rocketry team and communicate with them virtually through skype every friday from 3-5 p.m. eastern time. i review their rocket simulations and give them feedback on their designs. i also virtually demonstrate strategies and techniques on how to build stable and robust rocket. -- rockets. i currently teach ap physics courses at oakton high school in vienna, virginia. i continued my goal of encouraging student participation and interest in stem. i am one of the teacher sponsors of the cougar robotics, rocketry and physics clubs. our rocketry team won first place at the battle of the rockets last year. became national finalist at tarc, and currently working with nasa sli project. our robotics frc team made it to the first robotics world finals in detroit, michigan last year.
last monday our physics club members participated at the stem outreach program of the association of old crows in the international symposium and convention on electronic warfare and won the cybersecurity codebreaking challenge. last friday, i took my students to the projet aviation career education and expo in leesburg, virginia, and we backed a $22500 worth of scholarships on flight trainings. because of my experiences in teaching in the third poorest school district in the state of texas and in the one of the richest counties in the entire ountry, i became more certain, determined and passionate about contributing to the future workforce. this is my way of giving back to this country. i hope that you too will continue to invest in our
youth's education for it will surely guarantee great returns. thank you very much and may god continue to bless us all and may god bless the united states of america. senator cruz: thank you very much for that powerful it'smony. thanks to each of you for your testimony. it was important and important and those of you particularly for those of you who are an educator, thank you for the time you have spent inspire and shape the next generation of scientists and ino vators and leaders. let me say you -- presidio high school and if you would please convey from me to the students at the presidio rocketry club how proud we are for the hard work they are doing. and in fact the one story that i wanted to ask you to elaborate
on is the story that a -- pokesman -- in an article. which is at the presidio team to be able to afford trips to virginia had to auction off a goat and they did that in every year for the next five years. and in 2014, the team placed its highest ranking yet, fourth place in the competition. could you elaborate on that, please? >> like what i said, it's an economiced disadvantaged school, so we don't have much budget. but it's very difficult to convince the school board to every to go outside presidio. so what i decided is the teacher that i work with, my
cosponsor, we have to raise funds in order for us to show that we want these kids to move forward. one of the initiatives was a suggestion from a parent to auction a goat. because at that time, when we tried to compete in the national -- and we made it to the top 100, we have to fly out of texas. but we have to go to the airport for hours away first. it's the transportation that was the most difficult, and then the budget was how to build the rockets as well. so i always tell the kids, we cannot waste money. we cannot waste time. we have to do everything through simulation first, and through that simulation, build from scratch. and we decided let's show to the school board that we are willing to put in time and effort. there were groups of companies,
particularly lockheed martin corporation, because at that time when we learned that we made it to the national finals, we were already told we're not moving on because we don't have the budget, there's liability and all of those things. t when i mentioned it to mr. steve deleon who used to work at lockheed martin at the time, he felt like he wanted to help, so he was able to gather about $3,000, and he told me put pressure to your board and tell them we are willing to support this initiative. and so we went. but we have to do it every year. we cannot just rely on other people's money every single time. we have to show them that we also are putting in some of our effort. yeah, we first raffled a goat, d in that particular area, goat is a common thing. so they would pay money in order to eat the goat, but
there are winners where they don't want the goat, so after i raffle, we auction it at night, because we have this arts festival. with one little goat we could make $2,000, but it's all about hard work, it's about your initiative. we sell doughnuts. i burn my fingers by barbecuing in front of church every sunday. because i wanted to show the community that we are not just traveling out of town for pleasure. we wanted to be -- we wanted to compete and bring back glory to that little town of presidio. >> well, thank you for your creativity and your passion and perhaps in honor of that story, at our next subcommittee hearing, we may have to serve tacos. you mentioned that this has
flown roughly 6 owe educational pay loads to the i.s.s. from texas schools and hawkins, houston, el paso, san antonio, ustin. what is the impact of being able to participate, and how can we expand it so that more schools have the opportunity? >> i think she just told us the impact. it's incredible, the impact. we have students coming to us now who are asking us for help on their thesis, their university thesis, ph.d. thesis. they started with us five, six, seven years ago. teachers tell us every week that the students never forget participating in a project that actually goes to space. with a great deal of humbleness, we see how many lives that we have changed having these students decide to go into stem and go into engineering or biology because
of space. it has an extraordinary impact on the lives. students, teachers, and parents when they see that this is something real and something that can be done within an academic year, almost an academic year. you ask an excellent question, how do we expand it? we are steams that awful thing of a business, and we are investing. we're investing to expand, to reach out to disadvantaged. we have to reach out to more communities. we're working with -- >> what does it cost for a school? >> the smallest price we have is $15,000 u.s. for a month on the space station. so it's test tubes. i'll be honest with you, don't mean to do this here at a hearing, but we don't make money on that. we also work with nasa and german space agency and others. on this educational at $15,000, you can do a test tube that goes up.
>> let me repeat that for anyone at c-span watching. you're saying any school in america? >>ed sad,000 will put you up for 30 days on the station, and we have lift of all of the pay loads that have flown previously, so you can see the research that's been done. we work with partners like dr. goldstein, who can provide a curriculum. we're expanding. that program is growing rapidly. it's also growing, as i said, into more disadvantaged locations. we still have trouble with nasa. we have trouble because we don't quite fit, but we're picking up the first of our nasa funding for disadvantaged communities. we're also going overeast now. i think it shows a great story in american leadership. we've done work on contests and in germany, and so this is a great story of all working together, the students, the mmunity, nasa, and the
private sector. >> 15,000, if i'm doing my math right, that's about 7 1/2 goats. you may think of an alternative price. >> well, i can think of alternative things we can uction off in texas. senator? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank all of you for being here today. we do have -- frame west virginia, and we have a great relationship with nasa and west virginia. we have katherine johnson center that we just renamed in her honor, our proud west virginian. i'd like to ask anybody on the panel, but in my observations, i think one of the most enlightening things that i've seen, and really, i think the way to get our students is the collaborative efforts they do with fairmont and west virginia university. how do you see that expanding?
i don't know, you might be more involved with that at your school. how do you see that expanding, and is there any pushback from sa to continue those internships? because a lot end up working there in the end. >> thank you for the question. i certainly don't see any pushback from nasa. i think nasa has been a very good partner with the higher ed community providing those internships, those communities for our students, and also as we talked about before, the research projects, the students were always involved in every research project. so those were golden opportunities for those students to get involved in a real project of interest to nasa. but also to engage with the professionals at nasa. that engagement even over and
above the technical parts is really quite valuable. so no, i don't see any pushback. i think all of us in higher ed are always looking for more and more experience opportunities for our students. >> that would be like the space grant program? >> exactly. space grant is a great example, a vehicle to make those sorts of things happen. >> you talked about your robotics team. another observation i've had, i've seen a lot of robotics teams, we live in a rural state, and one of the things that i've noticed that i think is kind of lost on people when they think about the stem education that comes from being a part of a robotics team, the skill set that you're developing is not just science and technology skill sets. you're learning thousand present. you're learning thousand work collaboratively. you're learning how to share knowledge with other teams from schools.tes or other
i think that part of the robotics team, that person that may not have the highest technological skills or can't work the controllers as well as somebody else, to have the member the concept of teamwork is something that is important and certainly nasa is a team. how do you see that with your experience as a teacher? >> in our robotics program, we divide our group into subcommittees or committees. right now we even have the business committee, the marketing group. we have people involved in just documentation alone. even the scouting group. because they have to pair up with some other schools so it's important for them to have good relationships with the opponents. so in the end, if you don't actually make it to the top finalist, then the top teams will get the chance to select you.
it's not just the build skill or programming skill. we try -- it's all types of skills that's actually being honed and enhanced in these kinds of programs. >> and i think that really fleshes out -- fleshes it out. it's great that senator rosen is here with me today. i joke that we're the stem times two, because we just recently got a bill passed, building stem act. part of our mission has been to draw in more women into stem at a younger age. what is your experience with this, and how do you think we can increase the participation, not just of women, but other minority groups that are not well represented in the stem field? >> thank you for this question. this is something i'm so passionate about and think about deeply. anyone who's listening, i want to work with you on this. i think it's for anyone who feels their voice can't be
heard, either because of their gender, their socioeconomic background or any reasons there could be bias against a person. to me the really key step in advancing equity is culture. i think that you need a culture of the organization where people can rise on their measure its, where they're not bullied out, where they're not harassed out. sociologists say until they're about 30% of people who you feel like are like out team, you feel like you're alone, and therefore, you're the most vulnerable person. doesn't matter what the hiring rubric is. if you don't have a good culture, you will not have diversity. the learning, things that we're working on, you can create any kind of miracle with one fabulous teacher and 30 kids or with a perfect internship. but if we can't do this at scale, we've lost. we need to be able to do this to scale. so that's the purpose of so much of what i've been working on personally, trying to make sure that these experiences can
be done at scale. i think it's critical to equity and diversity as well. thank you. >> thank you, senator rosen. >> thank you. i to tell you that all of are you so inspiring, and oh, my goodness, i can tell you, i have so many friends who are teachers that find the creative ways to inspire their students through music, through physics, through all kinds of things. and it is the art of passion of teaching that will really move our country forward, because when you grab those young minds, you've grabbed me. 'm ready to take your class. so thank you, thank you, and all of your passion is infectious. you need to go around the country talking about this. the senator and i did introduce a bill, building blocks of stem, to help get young girls pre-k through 12 involved in
stem education. it should hopefully be passing in the house and the president will sign that into and law we'll get some things moving. but we do, in nevada, have a onderful woman, dr. his best -- dr. elizabeth who is a professor at unlv, so she got the bug early. we know that currently half the states in the united states, including nevada, only received ss than 10% of federal r&d funding. the score is a joint federal-state program designed to allow more states to participate in space and aeronautics research, building upon what the kids learned in the younger grades. received $100,000 to study minerals found on mars. like i said, a geo science rece professor, she's a role model for so many. she's leading this research project. she was selected by nasa as one
of 10 scientists who's going to choose which rock and soil samples from mars are going to e brought back to earth. the president's budget proposal, it terminates this nasa office of stem engagement, and significantly is going to cut the senior. we know we're going to do building blocks of stem, try to provide grants and help for teachers and schools and bring this up to scale we hope around the country. but what do we do if we can't -- if we terminate this project? here do we go from here? >> very practical thing i might say, as the p.i. of the mission, and by the way, speaking of gender, i believe i'm the second woman to ever win a deep space mission. i really feel strongly about that. >> congratulations.
and the first with marie, who i'm sure many of us in this room know. we are allowed to take a percentage of our p.r.-led mission money and use it for undergraduate education and outreach. that was something that i mentioned in my testimony. but that could be expanded beyond the undergraduate. if the missions could also then reach k-12, could reach out to communities with that money, if that money was just allowed to be used in a broader sense, that would immediately be perhaps a simple way that we could help with the potential tightening of the nasa budget. >> maybe offering internships and scholarships for people who are going to graduate school that they can come down and help teachers like this do great things in their classroom, give them extra skills. >> that's right. our undergraduates we've had involved, that could have been 550 and 550 high school students or middle school
students. that would begin to make a difference. >> thank you. i guess what i want to ask each one of you and all the different areas that you work in, how can we here in congress help you get the next generation inspired to reach for the stars, if you will? that's what nasa is all about, thinking about that, using that imagination. where are the policy makers? you can't legislate everything, but what can we do to help you inspire the next gen, please? >> thank you for your enthusiasm. >> i'm a former computer programmer. i like the stem stuff. >> we have found that, first off, the nasa opens doors. i have unfortunate news that not all the american public likes all the american
government. nasa still opens doors. it's a wonderful brand. it's a wonderful history. no matter where we are when we say we're working with nasa to go to the international space station, people smile. there's a trust of what nasa has been, is, and will be. what i would say from your vantage point, i don't want to see nasa go away in stem. so many governmental organizations have stem outreach, which is wonderful. but nasa is a special part of our government, and they have such a proud history. we have found that contests inspire when it's something real of going to space. this is just from our vantage point. >> i watched the moon landing, so i know what it inspired. >> what a student can be part of something that involves a launch of a rocket or whatever satellite or whatever it is,
that's inspiring, and we need that nasa, the history of nasa to be there to continue to make hem motivated. >> i just want to tee off of that, because i think that's important. nasa is uniquely positioned of really any federal agency to capture hearts and minds of students at a very young age, and i think this also connects back to the gender gap discussion we were having a few minutes ago. even before the students get to her reaching back into the middle school, that's where you begin to see some differentiation happening based on gender. i think trying to reach back into middle and elementary through nasa, the allure of nasa, that might be a powerful thing for our country.
>> what do you think? >> i think it's reduction of all of those tests. instead of focusing so much in the classroom, in teaching to the test, because it's mandated by the state, by the government, why not allow us teachers to create all of those stem initiatives and projects and have the kids put their minds to participating and doing activities that are like that? >> experience-based learning, i like it. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. senator thune? >> thank you. as the demand for jobs in the stem field continues to grow, it is critical we have students who have those skills and are competitive on graduation. regardless where they choose to receive their education. nasa's established program to stimulate competitive research provides, as you know, funding to areas of the country that are typically represented in
federal space and aeronautics research funding. south dakota's universities continue to produce high quality students and funding has been essential in making broader base of stem expertise available to nasa. so could you, as a general question, speak to the importance of building a nationwide stem workforce that draws from every state across the country? >> thank you for that question. i'd say the effects of the tightening of our stem workforce every day, working on this mission, i see it, i see at industry partners. everyone is feeling it. it's a real problem on the ground right now, which i magine he can relate to. to me, showing students early that you're not a special kind of person if you go into stem, that anyone who's interested can do it. there's not this differentiater between the stem people and the non-stem people. you can love art and you can
love philosophy and you can love sports and you can also love math. you can work with people who love all those things. if we could make it more of a connector instead of necessarily a differentiater, if we could work on the culture of not judging girls in fifth grade and telling them they're not good at math, work on that culture, give teachers the freedom to connect not just stem, but all the fields together, to me that would be a great impetus for bringing people into this world of stem. >> in houston, we just hired our first in-company recruiter. we've done it because we're having trouble fulfilling jobs. we are very, very hungry to find the right level of young engineers that have space experience, and we've picked up some new programs lately, and my head of engineering is frantically where do we find the people? this is a serious problem for us, and in the space community,
we can't do non-u.s. citizens. we have a problem in this country today. we're growing 30% to 40% a year, and i'm worried about getting the right people. i'm just having trouble with t. >> i think all of that is exactly right. i might touch on one element of that question that i think was in your question about the demographics diversity across the country. making sure we're drawing talent not just the east coast and west coast, but all through the country. i do think that's critically important. we have culturally different. we have different experiences as young children. that little girl who grew up fixing her tractor on her farm could make an amazing engineer,
but she's got to have the opportunity to see that past forward. i think that's where programs like nasa app score and others can be so invaluable to making sthure all of those students in south dakota, mississippi, everywhere in between can see that path forward, because there's talent out there. it's not that we don't have the talent. i think we have a pipeline problem. you mentioned in your testimony some of your experience teaching in a rural community in texas. i'm curious. we obviously work very hard in south dakota. we've got some exceptional students. that's thanks to the dedication, faculty, administrators and state officials who work very hard to make sure that they have the tools they need.
one of the challenges that we face is recruiting teachers and retaining stem teachers. i'm just wondering, based on your experience in texas, if you could share any ideas that might help schools in south dakota and other rural states recruit and retain teachers who are equipped to teach stem-related courses. >> i remember moving from teaching in el paso to presidio, texas, where salary was cut more than $10,000, but i think that's one thing that would attract teachers in rural areas, because there are gems in the rural areas. the kids could do much, because they have nothing to lose. that's one thing i've noticed. if i would present the students something that's new to them, they will grab it in a heartbeat. they will do whatever i want. but it's very difficult to teach the -- keep the teemps,
because one would be the pay scale and lack of proper training. i am very resourceful in my own way. i try to use technology and all the other resources inside and outside, and that's what i promise my students every day, that if i cannot get the resource from right here, i'll bring it to you. for career day, i remember every year we have a career day in november. but the first career day i attended in presidio, we only have plumbers. i have nothing against those kinds of plumbers. the most popular were the border patrol and military. but i felt like these kids have to be exposed so the told the teachers and administrators, i want to do a virtual career so that i could have people from the outside, professors and the universities from the outside in i know and even those
other countries, former students of mine, they're already -- that are professionals, have the kids get exposed to that. answering what you ask about keeping the teachers, it's the individual. i can only speak for myself. it doesn't matter where i go. it doesn't matter how much i get paid for teaching. this is my passion. i will just give 100% of what i have. i really hope that those other teachers would stay in that teaching profession, because we are losing majority of them. but i am proud to tell you that presidio high school, even the elementary, has now faculty members. they're going back. that's what i tell the students. when you leave presidio, you have to come back and help your community to flourish. >> we have to be able to handle the hoe below wind chills in
south dakota. one last question if i can, mr. chairman. in addition to the achievements of nasa and its partners, maintaining american leadership in space is also going to depend on our cybersecurities. we have a little university in south dakota which has been a real leader in training qualified cybersecurity professionals. how important are capabilities n a large network of professionals to maintaining leadership in space, would you say? >> thank you for the question, senator. we are spending more and more money, and we think it's well spent on protecting internal and external communications. it's something none of us here know the moment it's going to be a crisis.
or whether it will be a crisis. but it's a threfment even a small company like mine is investing more and more to ensure confidentiality and security in our communications systems. we're hit all the time. we're hit all, all the time. >> ditto for universities. >> just to add briefly, the team of people is now above 800. we're at so many different organizations. the openings for cyberattacks through many, many organizations is vast. for a project like this, the catastrophe could only be imagined. so it's beyond critical to add to everything that's said at the table. >> i'm glad to hear that dakota state is on the right track. >> thank you, senator thune. >> you spoke about the challenge of finding qualified
employees who are trained engineers and able to fulfill the demands of the modern workforce. a question i want to ask all four panel members. in your opinion, how important is space? ow important is the mission? i think back to when john f. kennedy came to houston and came to rice university. he laid out a vision that within a decade we will take a man to the moon and bring him home. 've always liked the fact that president kennedy said at the time, he was at rice, and he said why does rice play texas? not because it is easy, because it is hard. that inspired a whole generation. my question to you is how
important is space for inspiring a new generation of students, a new generation of teachers? how important is going back to the moon? how important is building a sustainable habitat for ongoing research on the moon? ow important is going to mars? and perhaps finding the first signs of life in the universe? how important is that for inspiring the next lowe belle laureate in physics share the importance of space for inspiration? >> in our world, a lot of area tives are fear and area tives of guilt. the only way you really get people to stand up and be the miracles that we're capable of is when you have a narrative of optimism and hope. that's what space is. space is the opportunity to be who we could be as human kinde, that we don't always see ourselves being every day here. it's the inspiration if we can create these things that you're
listing, these beautiful ideas, then we can be better at home. it's the inspiration for students to go into stem fields for something that they find could make them a bigger and better human being. i think it's incumbent upon us. if we turn away, it's a failure of our species. we have to do this. >> we just opened an open, and we've been doing work the astronaut who went to the space station. question their educational pay loads, which is pretty cool. why are they looking at space, and why did we open an office in abu dab snow it's funny how we take things for granted in this country and don't realize. they've studied the last 1,500 years and they said the best way to ensthure we as a society stay together as the oil revenue goes down is to get into space. to them, they've announced a
100-year program to go to mars. they've scomplooked studied us and said what did you during this apollo era, what you continue to do in space is the best way that we as a government can inspire our kids not to leave our country, to get meaningful jobs. same in australia. same in mexico. same in the u.k. all have opened space programs in the last two or three years. all looking to the united states as the role model. here, we don't see it. here we have to be reminded only when someone gets in front of us for a brief period of ime. it frustrates me we see how kids are motivated by space and the strategic advantage, commercial advantage. but to answer is, the world has looked around and said what you guys did during apollo, that's the best way to motivate our next generation.
space is important for a whole bunch of reasons. it inspires. >> that was all very well said, and the only thing i would add to that is that if you just return m direct investment, it's probably not a great thing to do. ut the intangible power of the space exploration is immeasurable. i don't think i can pinpoint any single initiative or program in this country's history that we could all collectively be more proud of and more inspired by than the apollo program. it took this country to a whole different level and inspiration that it delivered to the country then got leveraged into
all kinds of other technical advances. that's when you got to pull that you will into it as well. i think that the power of space way beyond s goes just the direct dollars and return. >> i think it's a reminder that we are not alone and we have to go out there,er to the protect ourselves in the future and explore what's beyond and how we can use that to make our planet even better. it's a testimony where this is where we could put all the kills that we have developed and why is it not inspiring to be able to be the first person on mars? i myself wanted to travel and go to space. that's my lifelong dream.
>> one of the things we've heard as well is the enormous demands in the stem field and these are only going to keep growing. whether cybersecurity, whether space, whether computers, whether programming, the world is getting more and more complicated, more and more technological, and people lacking those stem skills have a much higher chance of being locked out out of their best chances of the future. at the same time, we're spacing a shortage of graduates with the skills necessary, and one of the things that all of you have testified to is to address that. we've got to expand the pool. we've got to expand the graduates who are coming out, and in particular, minorities, african-americans, hispanics continue to be underrepresented in stem fields and women continue to be underrepresented in stem fields.
both of those are realities. i have familiarity with them. my mom was one of those human computers. she came out of rice in 1956 and got hired at shell as a computer programmer at the dawn of the computer age. my dad was a cuban immigrant who came out of texas in 1961 and became a computer programmer at i.b.m. with a heavy spanish accent and an amazed wonder to be in america. i want to ask each of you, how do we expand the ability of minorities, the ability of women to see that they can achieve in the stem fields, to gain the skills they need and to get the tools to pursue careers if that's their sandags their aptitude and their dreams? i want to open that up to anyone.
>> especially the women, when i used to teach, it was very difficult at the beginning to kind of -- to have them speak up for themselves. the ays tell the kids, teacher will be here as your second mom. after they already gain all the skills and those exposures that we provided for them, they need that full support in the end as well. until they continue. like this young girl that i mentor all the way, until they finally called and he said my last question for you is help me decide, should i accept a job at lockheed martin corporation or should i go to a rear flight sciences, which is now boeing. things like that. it's continuing to mentor the kids, whether they're male or female. and continuing to providing
them that exposure. i am very happy where i'm at right now at fairfax county public schools because they were pioneering this capstone project, where in lieu of having this final exam, kids are developing projects from ninth grade all the way to senior, and the cap stone projects are amazing, where they conduct research, they do presentations even at the department of education. we have students who publish the book. there's a student who actually created a story about her struggle and her wait in the united states, i believe from siberia, and it ended up being a film. so she was invited to this film festival. things like that is already starting. and again, it's learning. and we're now moving onto the middle school, where middle school are also sort of like being exposed at young age, because this is a skill that we
will need for our future workforce. i think we have to start early. as teacher, we need to be there and continue our mentorship. we still continue to communicate with them. thanksgiving, one of my former students just graduated with a degree in physics. he now is working at the division of lockheed martin. he's told me, i'm coming home at thanksgiving, and i want to buy you dinner. things like that where you just give everything that you have, because it's not for me anymore. it's about my kids, the future and their en children's children, and i want to contribute now. >> i'd like so to have see a lot more students having choices like that. >> i'll be brief. i think the only extra point i
would add to that is, as i stated earlier, reaching further back into the grade levels, if we're thinking about trying to grow, which absolutely we need to do, grow the underrepresented groups within the stem field, the professional ranks, i do think that we will get more bang for the buck if we reach back as early as we possibly can, and whatever the programs are, whether their nasa programs or department of ed programs or wherever they live, i think we need to start early. because a lot of those prereceived notions, some of them are cultural, some of them are i am policity bias. whatever the reasons are, they start very early. once they start, it's hard to get them back on track at the high school level, certainly at the university level.
a few moments ago i talked about the extraordinary brand that's nasa. it's almost a disadvantage in sense of your question. how do we reach tout more disadvantaged communities? we've now made a conscious effort to reach out to not only african-american and hispanic communities, but also first people. when you go in and say you can go to the international space station, i'll again use a new york analogy. they say, what, are you selling us the brooklyn lidge? one of the problems that we face is that nasa sometimes has a love-hate relationship with commercial. but the more that they hear that a small company sent an oven to the space station or e more times it comes out, instead of it being just nasa and still very often when we do things, it's under instead of it nasa. now, there are a lot of first people who are not going to think that they can go to the
space station in this way. to answer you very practically, we started to just go to some of these conferences, meet with the people and say, either we want to train you or we want to locate something in your community or on the reservation or you can send something and we'll help you. so it's just hard work. but we can't wait for the government to do it, but we could have a little bit combaff success put on nasa that sometimes it's not nasa. sometimes it's the commercial sector, because we say, just laughing, when something goes wrong, it's right. when nasa, it's right. it's a joke. it's really trying to get over gravitas over the that's nasa. >> to go back to what you said, so many students are drawn in through the team experience of building something together. if you get away from the hero model, judge it's just really
one smart boy who answers the question, and instead, if you have everything working together, that's where you get diversity. we can do that at the middle school. we can do it in high school. that's what our degree is. we can do it at scale. we can solve the problem of numbers. the thing you can do to help ould be to release some of the strictus so teachers feel they have more freedom to teach in other ways that they know work. >> wonderful. i think to thank each of the witnesses for your hard work, for your passion, dedication, estimony here today. i am extending because i'm being told that snore senator is a minute away. -- that a snore is a minute
away. i'm trying to wax he will owe convent. all right, let's ask another question, which is universities. what should universities be expand stem to education, and let me ask you in particular, nasa space grants, how much of a difference are they making as a practical matter? >> the space program is huge willing impactful. it not only funds the faculty to do some of their exciting scombork partner with nasa to solve a particular problem, but as i said earlier, there are always students involved in those problems. would say beyond the program, higher ed as a whole is looking deeply, and we are at the university of mississippi at the stem education experience.
we have this cookie cutter traditional mold of we have this department and this school and so on and so forth. but the real problems are not -- they don't fall like. you have to work with folks who don't have an engineering background, but an accounting degree or business or biology or whatever it is. the center for manufacturing excellence is an example of this layer that you put on top of those majors that blends and then builds teams of those students some. are accounting majors, some are engineers, but they're all working on a problem, a year-long problem, and they're all taking class work so they understand each other's world. so i think the more of that that we can do, get creative about and teaching to tests. i'm fully on board with trying to move away from that and get more creative at the secondary
level, that's kind of the same at the university. we don't teach too much to the test, but we teach a lot to the way we've always taught. can i get an amen on that? i think i'm beginning to see more and more willingness in the university and higher ed to think a little bit broader. >> and i will say, i think that's the first response we've had at a subcommittee hearing. that is wonderful. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman, for allowing notice pop out to another committee. i'm really glad to be back here. i want to thank you again for being and here testifying on such an important issue. my first question is for the doctor. in your written testimony, you discussed the difference between nasa-led flagship missions like the hubble telescope and other missions that you lead. when testifying before the full commerce committee in july,
nasa administrator made the same point which you make your written testimony, that university-led p.i. missions are more likely to complete it on time and under budget as compared to the nasa flagship missions. as a principal investigator, what is the difference how p.i. missions are managed as compared to flagship missions, and what lessons could nasa learn from p.i. led missions to keep more of our flagship missions both on time and on budget? >> thank you for the question, and i very much hope not to disappoint with you psyche mission. we were going to try to be on schedule and under budget. we'll see. doing our best. the big difference between the way they're rurnings the p.i.-led missions are conceived of as a whole, and the team build from the beginning, and so the schedule and the budget and the instruments that are needed and the plan for the mission are all built up as a whole, as a single unit, whereas the flagship missions come from the survey. they are trying to answer the
really big, really tough space challenges that we have and they're put together by competitions so that the instruments are picked from a pool and then the leadership is picked, so once the leadership is in place, what they really have a whole bunch of separate city states they need to blend into a functional government all together. that's a big challenge. it's not that i think this is wrong, i think that the aspirations of our flagship missions and the new technology developments that they drive, which makes budgeting much harder, are what we should be doing. they're the hard things. but if there's a possibility to create a more university team earlier in the process, i think that will help with budgeting and scheduling challenges, because that's where i see them coming from. >> thank you. my next question is for all of you, but i welcome all of our panelists to respond. i'm proud of arizona's
universities, that we've taken advantage of nasa programs like discovery, which investigators the opportunities to receive funding from mission that advances nasa's scientific goals. i'm concerned about what happens when one of these missions ends. after nasa and a university makes significant investments to develop expertise in a complex and focused field of airspace, astro physics or astro biology, the funding for the research disappears afterwards. this can lead both nasa and universities to lose a key source of expertise and makes some of the follow-up research for these missions harder to complete. what opportunities currently exist or should exist to help nasa and universities make continuous or long-term investments in space-related research fields, and what more can we do to help nasa universities, the private sector and individual researchers, develop these long-term relationships to fuel decades of research?
>> it's such a constant program, both on the science and engineering side, that you build up an incredible expertise, and then funding and emphasis goes away, and then people need to leave for other jobs. we saw this happen after the apollo era with lunar science. our institutional knowledge of lunar science began to drain way because funding was cut. i envision a world where, when we're so lucky, as we've been in arizona to win these big missions and we get these tremendous teams together, what i would love to see is the opportunity for those people then waiting for the next possible mission opportunity, rather than vanishing into a different industry, that's a moment when we can bring together university private sector nasa to do these kind of triangle sector efforts to hit the next big target that we need. then we don't lose the people. they're stoilt same teams. they're still educating new
members and connecting better with the private sector. they're doing tech transfer. they're filling in a gap. they're doing whatever the next important thing is. i would love to see nasa create partnerships like that, that would strengthen and grow workforce. >> you're absolutely right. when those specific projects end and the funding stops and then you sort of investing quite a lot of time and energy and money into developing a relationship, and then a skill set, and then it's gone, so one f the things that we do at the university of mississippi and other universities do this very well also is really work on developing the relationship with the program, so that when that funding ends, that we've got a trusting relationship between the scientists and engineers on the federal side and our faculty members and
research staff. once the funding may have dried up or shifted in other directions but once you have the relationship there, and you have some flexibility in your skill set, that's another key element, as we were talking about for changing the way we develop the education side, a more flexible curriculum, that's going to lead to a more flexible faculty in the future that aren't so narrow, that this is what i do, and if it doesn't fit in this box, then i'm not involved or can't be involved. so i think those sort of things, having that flexibility and that long-term relationship is really key to extending the time that we're collaboratively working. we do have models with other agencies where we have scientists from the federal
side come and stay on our campus for extended period of time that might be three or even x months longer, and our faculty members go there. those are incredibly valuable. we go so far with a particular agency where we have federal scientists embedded full-time with our faculty in one of our facilities. that's the kind of thing that build relationships that last decades. >> thank you. so my next question -- sorry. i have another question. since 2015, you've worked as a principal investigator on the psyche mission, which proposes to send a probe to an astroid ith an exposed nickel iron core. as you've developed this mission, how have you worked with undergraduate and graduate students, as well as other
researchers at arizona state university, and what do you believe that students and researchers gain from the opportunity to work firsthand on a mission like psyche, and what more can we do to ensure that students and researchers across the country have the opportunity to participate in nasa missions? >> we've been hitting this topic really beautifully, and i want to focus on a couple of really key parts behalf we tried to do in psyche, which connect so much with everything hat we've each said. that is giving students to work towards goals. dr. bowman is the research faculty who runs all of the student collaborations, and one of the innovations that she's made -- in fact, we're writing research papers about this -- is figuring out how to run capstone steams, but we want them to be every semester, every year of your education,
working together where there's an engineer and there's a user experience designer, a graphic designer, a marketer, there's a student project manager on the team just like it will whb they hit the workforce, trying to solve problems that come from the project. so our engineers are people, they share challenges they're facing and give them to these teams. we've had a set of capstone that is competed for a flight on a blue origin launch, and the team that won was a virtual team. we had someone in the military who was on a ship. we had someone on a university on the east coast, in the south, someone in the north. they literally mailed their hardware back and forth. they did skype teams and won. that's the workforce of the future, and that's how we want to engage people. i think we should do as much of this as we can. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i want to take a moment again to thank all of our witnesses for being here today, and i want to thank you for hosting this committee hearing. this is something i'm very
interested in. it's important to my state. but i know it's important to our country, not just for the future competitiveness of our country, but for our national security. so thank you for the work that you all do and thank you in particular for the folks that you're teaching and mentor ago cross our country to ensure that we remain competitive and safe. i appreciate it. >> thank you, senator. i want to thank each of the witnesses. as yogi berra said, deja vu all over again. but thank you for your terrific testimony, for your passion, and for the difference you're making. the record for this hearing will remain open for the next two weeks. any senators are asked during that time to submit questions for the record, and upon recreate, the witnesses are asked to submit your written answers to the subcommittee as soon as possible. with that, this hearing is adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019]
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