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NASA Awards $300,000 to Bronx Community College to Promote Geospatial Technology and STEM Activities

August 8, 2018

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration – Educational Opportunities for STEM (NASA-EONS) program announced the award of $317,098 to Bronx Community College of the City University of New York (BCC-CUNY) for a program that will contribute to the preparation, training, and development of NASA’s future workforce. The Principal Investigator of the program is Dr. Sunil Bhaskaran who is the founding Director of the BCC Geospatial Center of the CUNY CREST Institute (BGCCCI). Bronx Community College was one of only five community colleges in the nation selected for the award by NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP). Dr. Bhaskaran worked with partnering institution, collaborators, consortium of industry and relevant NASA’s Offices/facilities to implement the multi-faceted activities related to geospatial technology and STEM in this program.

With NASA funding over the next two years, the program will engage students and educators in authentic, inquiry-based year-round hands-on science experiential learning opportunities including workshops, field activities, and mentoring by STEM scholars and professionals. The proposed project will expose participants and educators to geo-analytical tools and enable them to integrate NASA’s rich repository of online resources in their course work and lesson plans at their respective institutions. BCC-CUNY will train middle school and high school teachers in STEM applications using Earth Observation (EO) provided by NASA’s rich online and archival datasets. Medgar Evers College will expose and train participants in using NASA Planetary Modeling Platforms and related STEM disciplines. Educators will be trained in integrating geospatial technology and multi-scale numerical-modeling platforms in summer professional development workshops. Experts from the Industry will be invited to deliver guest lectures and career opportunities. Proposed degree programs in geospatial technology and new course articulations will enrich the student learning experience, create workforce skills and assist in creating new pathways and careers. Families and members of the community will be invited and engaged at family cafes to promote a collective approach in creating work force skills in technology and STEM fields of study.

The two-year program will be directed and managed by Dr. Bhaskaran who will be assisted by Dr. Christopher Boxe (Collaborator from Medgar Evers College). As Dr. Bhaskaran, who pioneered the growth and development of geospatial technology at BCC and CUNY explains, “Almost 80% of data collected from a variety of sources have a geospatial component and their timely analyses will be critical for formulating informed decisions. BCC offered two (2) new geospatial courses in fall 2015, which now have a total enrollment of 260 plus students.”

For more information, contact:
Professor Sunil Bhaskaran (
Director of BCC Geospatial Center of the CUNY CREST Institute
330 Meister Hall, 2155, University Avenue
Bronx Community College, Bronx, New York