NASA and the Department of Education are collaborating to enhance the federal Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Scholar Recognition Program using NASA entrepreneurial expertise.
Beginning in 2022, a NASA pitch competition for students at higher education institutions will officially become part of the HBCU Scholar Recognition Program, part of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity. The competition will be a small-scale version of NASAs Minority University Education and Research Program (MUREP) Innovation and Tech Transfer Idea Competition (MITTIC).
NASA is excited to formalize our participation and see the innovated ideas HBCU scholars will bring to the competition. said MUREP manager Torry Johnson. Since 2018, MITTIC has provided students at Minority Serving Institutions a glimpse into NASAs Technology Transfer Program and a unique opportunity to explore their entrepreneurial interests using NASAs technology portfolio.
Through this mini MITTIC pitch competition, teams of HBCU scholars will investigate selected NASA intellectual properties for potential uses in the commercial sector. The teams will work closely with NASAs MITTIC team and subject matter experts while creating Space Tank pitches to explain the commercial viability of their proposed ideas.
NASA has a long history of facilitating the transformation of its technologies into commercial products and services. NASAs Technology Transfer Program, managed by theSpace Technology Mission Directorate, the agencys headquarters in Washington, ensures that the innovations developed for exploration and discovery are broadly available to the public, maximizing the benefit to the nation.
Through the HBCU Scholar Recognition Program, the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity annually recognizes students from HBCUs for their accomplishments in academics, leadership, and civic engagement. Over the course of an academic school year, HBCU scholars participate in professional development through monthly classes and have access to a network of public and private partners.
Partnerships, such as the White House initiatives work with NASA, have helped increase participation in and awareness of the HBCU Scholar Recognition Program.
Since the inception of the initiatives student programming in 2014, NASA has helped it engage with cohorts of HBCU scholars and provided access to NASA networks, training, resources, and partners.
Our relationship with NASA validates the Biden-Harris Administrations and the initiatives commitment to enhancing STEM in the HBCU space, said Arthur McMahan, senior associate director for the Initiative. This opportunity provides our outstanding HBCU Scholars with the tools and experiences needed to succeed in the 21st Century economy and beyond.
Through their relationships with NASA, community-based organizations, and other public and private partners, HBCU scholars will also share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential.