MCC’s Team ATLAS receives NASA MINDS awards

May 11, 2022

Team ATLAS, a group of engineering students from McLennan Community College, is bringing home three awards in the Underclassmen Division of the NASA Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Innovative New Designs for Space (NASA MINDS) Challenge.

Team ATLAS, which constructed a working model of an anchor to be used in micro-G environments, won first place for both Technical Poster and Technical Paper categories, along with a second-place finish in the Design, Build, and Demonstration category, and totaling $2500 in award winnings. The team is comprised of some of the top engineering students: Michael Deyo, Edward Rodriguez, Solomon Stern and Jonathan Bonilla (mechanical); Ilyass Belaribia and Ollie Wess (electrical); and Judith Marcos (civil).

NASA MINDS is a multi-semester undergraduate level activity that supports the Artemis mission and the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate (ESDMD), and Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD). Specific Goals of the hands-on design and build experience are:

  • Build a diverse science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce by engaging students in authentic hands-on learning experiences involving NASA’s content and people.
  • Increase students’ capabilities to pursue STEM by empowering students to work independently on NASA Artemis technologies that interest them.
  • Create a pipeline for NASA’s future workforce needs by informing students of the technological innovations required, and engaging them in these technologies at a fundamental and exploratory level.
  • Generate unique and innovative concepts from students and MSIs, which can serve as a potential resource for NASA’s scientists and engineers working on Artemis technological needs.

For more information about NASA MINDS, visit For more information about MCC’s engineering programs, visit