Empowering the STEM Workforce of Tomorrow
During a pivotal time in the national STEM crisis, the Career Exploration Program continues to inspire, engage, and empower students to reach new heights in education, and to make lasting contributions in STEM careers. Since program inception in 2004, over 1200 students have participated in hands-on work/study internship experiences at NASA Johnson Space Center through CEP. The CEP encourages students through opportunities such as college panels, job shadowing, technical mentoring, and scholarship assistance to complete their education in STEM fields and to enter the STEM workforce.
Additionally, CEP seeks to increase diversity in the STEM workforce by encouraging students from underrepresented populations to participate in CEP internships and pipeline into STEM careers. As a result:
- 86% of CEP students are from minority and female populations.
- 27% of CEP students are 1st generation college graduates.
- 58% of students reported that their CEP experience influenced their college major decisions.
USRA has managed NASA's Career Exploration Program since September 2006.
NASA Ambassadors (from left to right): Zaida Hernandez, Selina Zalesak, Martin Guevara, and Fidelina Quiroz.
CEP Students Selected as NASA Ambassadors
NASA selects outstanding students from across the country to engage in space science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research opportunities through the prestigious NASA Ambassadors Program. Ambassadors collaborate to increase student retention in STEM fields, represent NASA at a variety of venues, and network to spread the word about STEM education and career opportunities.From left to right: Zaida Hernandez, Selina Zalesak, Martin Guevara, and Fidelina Quiroz. NASA Ambassadors not pictured: Matt Aquino, Narcrisha Norman, and Jennifer Franklin.
CEP student Zaheer and his mentor Tari, before his flight on NASA's "Super Guppy."
CEP college student intern (hanging upside-down) is one of the lucky few who have flown on NASA's Zero-G Aircraft.