• October 23, 2019

The first annual Padawan Palooza - The Trail Blazer: News

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The first annual Padawan Palooza

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Posted: Friday, February 2, 2018 6:10 pm

Morehead State University’s Space Science Center held its First Annual Padawan Palooza Thursday.

The event was held to promote the SSC’s mentorship program in which newer space science undergraduates that meet criteria, known as “Padawans” within the program, are paired with more experienced professors and staff; as well as Master, Senior and Junior students known as “Jedi Knights.”

The purpose of the program is to offer students hands-on experience working on projects in their fields of study and interest, ranging from system design to exomedicine. This experience is intended to offer a source of skill validation that the students may use once they graduate and begin their careers. The program also offers a chance for students to distinguish themselves by directly working on NASA funded projects that will have real world applications in the space industry.

The program also offers the SSC a source of skilled labor necessary to successfully achieve these projects.

“One of our largest problems in designing, manufacturing and testing satellites is that we will teach a student a skill to perfection, and then, of course, they graduate and leave,” said Kennedy Haught, a first year Master student in the Space System Engineering Program, and the public outreach lead for the SSC. “So this program’s goal is to seamlessly combine that transition so that we are never without a specialist and there is always someone who is up and coming who can possess the same skills and we do not lose valuable skills.”

The mentorship is currently a bi-semester 6-week program that offers undergraduates a chance to work with 18 different mentors and an opportunity work on one or more of the SSC’s current 8 active NASA projects.

These projects include MSU’s Lunar IceCube that will launch with the SLS  between December 2019 and mid-2020.

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