High School Students Get a Close-up Look at Life as an Engineer



High school seniors visit NASA for a close-up look at life as an
engineer: Thirty-two seniors from Coppin Academy in Baltimore
and 40 seniors from Royal High School in Houston



Students from Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF)-member school reform site partnerships
Thirty-two seniors from Coppin Academy in Baltimore and 40 seniors from Royal High School in Houston


A Close-Up Look at life as an Engineer

Students had an opportunity to see minority engineers, including graduates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), in action and they had the opportunity to see an up close look at the life of an engineer.


Friday, April 29, 2011


NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.


To expose high school students to minority engineers and to careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The visit is a follow-up to the “Introduction to Engineering” webinars Royal High School and Coppin Academy seniors participated in at Prairie View A&M University and Coppin State University respectively.


Sponsored by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund in partnership with NASA.


Hosts for the visit included: NASA Education Specialist (Coordinator) Trena Ferrell and NASA Aerospace Engineer (Liaison) Mark Branch. Ferrell and Branch have hosted “Exploration in Engineering” webinars at TMCF-member high schools and Branch is a TMCF liaison for one of the grants TMCF receives from NASA.


"I just had some fun! I enjoyed the clean room with all the filters and the people in the bunny suits! It was all very interesting and informative."

Brian Green, Senior, Royal High School, Houston 

"It was a very informative program and a lot of information was very practical for the students. I enjoyed the tour of the NASA facilities and enjoyed the speakers as they gave valuable information about their experience in the engineering field. This program gives hope to the many students that put in the effort and time to see their dreams obtainable if they put the mind to it!"

Robert Weber, Chaperone, Royal High School, Houston

“Thanks for a wonderful experience for my seniors. They are still talking about the excitement of being with students from another part of the country. It was a pleasure to be with young people who know how to make a difference in people's lives. Keep up the good work. I would like to see a senior class to senior class interaction continue. It was a very positive enterprise and I especially enjoyed the interaction between the two schools.” ­­

Carol Gooden, Coppin Academy, Baltimore

"The trip to NASA was a great experience for me because this was the first time that I have had an opportunity to talk with seniors from another part of the country. I discovered that we have the same issues and likes and dislikes. We had a chance to share our experiences about being affiliated with a college campus. We also shared how going to college is a big step for us. I wished that we could have met earlier in the year so that we could have spent the year being pen pals and maybe had a chance to visit each other's schools."

–  Brittany Thornton, Senior, Coppin Academy, Baltimore

"The NASA Trip was an experience of a lifetime. The students from Royal High School and Coppin Academy High School made friends easily. We found out that we have a lot in common. In addition, meeting the engineers from NASA was impressive. I interacted with them during the video conferencing sessions all year, so seeing them in person was exciting. Being with the Royal High School students and the warm welcome at NASA gave me a feeling of being at home with old friends."

Carlton James, Senior, Coppin Academy, Baltimore

"I did not know what to expect when I was asked to chaperone the seniors at Coppin Academy High School to NASA. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see the diversity at Royal High School and the way in which both senior classes interacted. I was especially proud of the way in which students were attentive and asked questions during the NASA presentation. Perhaps you may want to consider establishing a program which pairs the role of like schools throughout the school year. This would give the students a new perspective on social and cultural differences and give them an opportunity to network with their peers. Thanks for believing in children."

Jason Rose, AP European History Teacher, Coppin Academy, Baltimore.

Click here to view event photos.