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home : community : community July 1, 2022

2/27/2022 9:02:00 AM
Gaston College Student Has NASA Link
Trenton Laws(Photo Courtesy Gaston College)
Trenton Laws

(Photo Courtesy Gaston College)

Lincoln Herald Staff

For Trenton Laws, it was a dream come true.

A Gaston College student, Laws was selected out of hundreds of community college students across the country for an Internet-based program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (or NASA). He attended the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars course, Feb. 2-8, and with his team, won the mission challenge. Laws hopes to one day have a NASA job, according to Gaston College spokeswoman Haleigh DiBetta.

Laws earned his spot in the program after successfully completing a five-week NASA course over the Internet. This experience teaches students about NASA missions and careers in science and engineering. The selected students work in teams to design a mission to explore the moon or Mars. In designing the mission, students learn how to manage a budget, develop communication and plan outreach strategies. Laws said he and his colleagues wanted to build a mission never done before by NASA teams, thus truly putting their knowledge to the test. They won the challenge by creating a simulated mission in which people were sent to Mars. 

“It was honestly kind of a shock in a way,” he said. “I couldn’t really believe it when I was accepted into the program, and then winning everything was also exciting. I yelled and screamed at my computer when I saw my team won.”

Laws studies engineering at Gaston College and is part of the SPARC Scholars program, a scholarship program for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students.

“I want to be a part of going to places people have never been before,” he said of space exploration.

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