Azusa, Calif. — Azusa Pacific University’s Center for Research in Science (CRIS), under the leadership of Leslie Wickman, Ph.D., received a $10,000 grant from the California Space Grant Consortium. This grant will assist in preparing current and future Azusa Pacific University students majoring in Math or Science (Physics, Pre-Engineering, Biology, Chemistry or Computer Science) to enter into the aerospace industry or other related fields.

“The California Space Grant award enables us to mentor a larger group of science interns each year, as well as to help fund other workforce development seminars and activities,” said Wickman. “The Center for Research in Science has six research interns this year, each working on a research topic of interest within the aerospace industry.”

According to the CaSGC, the future of NASA and the U.S. aerospace industry greatly depends on the workforce they attract, which is part of their motivation for helping develop high quality graduates in the areas of math and physics. In recent years, fewer young people are choosing engineering and science as career field, which points to a potential decline in the U.S. aerospace program in the future.

Wickman plans to apply the grant to an on-going series of seminars for students and faculty mentors. This seminar series would assist with job search strategies, interviewing techniques, and career opportunities in desired fields. Partnering with APU’s School of Education, CRIS will also help prepare future science teachers by involving student teachers in science training and research projects. In addition, the funds will help inspire younger students in the sciences through local school visits and science demonstrations.

The California Space Grant Consortium (CaSGC) is 1 of 52 consortia that allow for the development of programs in three areas of NASA concern: research, education and workface development, and public outreach. The CaSGC is comprised of colleges, universities, businesses, and other private and public sector institutions ¬— all-working to further aerospace education and career training.

For more information, contact the Center for Research in Science at http://www.apu.edu/research-science/, cris@apu.edu or (626) 815-6480.