A-B Tech’s McTaggart Selected for NASA Scholars Program

Jaden McTaggert
September 13, 2017
Tech Talk

Jaden McTaggart of A-B Tech in Asheville has been selected to travel to NASA’s Langley Research Center September 25-28 to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars project (NCAS).

McTaggart has been selected as one of 304 community college students from across the U.S. to be part of NCAS. He is the 11th A-B Tech student that has been selected over the past five years.

McTaggart will graduate from A-B Tech in 2018 with Associate Degrees in Science and Engineering. He plans to transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with a concentration in nanotechnology.

“NASA had always kind of been that dream job that seemed out of reach and unattainable. I decided to take a shot of it and did well enough to be invited. I can’t wait to meet other students, engineers and scientists,” he said.

The five-week scholars program culminates with a four-day on-site event at Langley Research Center and offers students the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and others as they learn more about careers in science and engineering. While at NASA, students form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team is responsible for developing and testing a prototype rover, forming a company infrastructure, managing a budget, and developing communications and outreach.

The on-site experience at NASA includes a tour of facilities and briefings by NASA subject matter experts.

NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars is a project funded in part by the Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, which is committed to engaging underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in authentic learning experiences to sustain a diverse workforce. 

With this activity, NASA continues the agency’s tradition engaging the nation in NASA’s mission.

“NCAS not only inspires community college students to advance in STEM fields, but it also opens doors for future careers at NASA.  NCAS has a legacy of alumni moving from NASA internships to and ultimately entering the NASA workforce.  It is rewarding to see the progression of a student from NCAS participant to NASA colleague.”  Joeletta Patrick, Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Manager

For additional information, please contact National Community College Aerospace Scholars by email at JSC-NCAS@mail.nasa.gov or by phone at 281-483-0493. For more information, visit:



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