MCC professor selected for NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program

Jan. 22, 2024

Dr. April Andreas, an engineering professor at McLennan Community College, has been selected for the 2024 class of the highly-competitive NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP).

Andreas and a research team of high school astronomy educators from Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York, along with their students, will be looking for Young Stellar Objects using archival data from the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (IRSA) to either confirm or question new AI and machine learning algorithms being used to drive astronomical research. Funding for the program comes from the NASA Astrophysics Data Program.

For over a decade, NITARP has partnered small groups of educators with a research astronomer for original, year-long, authentic research projects. A total of 145 educators from 42 states, including the 2024 class, have participated in the program since 2005. Through the program, NITARP reaches thousands of students per year with information about how science really works, what NASA does, and the wealth of astronomy data that is freely available to the public.