Tennessee Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Aerospace Academy


 The goals of the SITES-M/MUREP program are to:

  • Inspire a more diverse student population to pursue careers in STEM-related fields;
  • Engage students, parents/adult family members and teachers by immersing them in STEM activities involving emerging technologies and high-tech applications; and
  • Educate students utilizing rigorous STEM curricula, designed and implemented by NASA, and utilizing effective evidence-based strategies employed by leading STEM professionals and agencies.

The key components of our program are:

  1. A Hands-on, Inquiry-Based K-12 STEM Curricula
         The SITES-M/MUREP project utilizes a series of unique hands-on, inquiry-based classroom curriculum enhancement activities. In addition to being aligned with national math, science and technology standards, these activities encompass the research and technology of each of four NASA Mission Directorates (Aeronautics Research, Exploration Systems, Science, and Space Operations). The SITES-M/MUREP program provides pathways for students to participate in this curriculum for a total of thirty-nine (39) hours each year, twenty-four (24) hours during the academic year and fifteen (15) hours during the summer.
  2. Providing Aerospace Education Laboratory (AEL) Access
         SITES-M/MUREP offers the Aerospace Education Laboratory – an electronically enhanced, computerized classroom that puts state-of-the-art technology at the fingertips of NASA MUREP middle- and high-school aged students. Each computerized research station provides students with real world challenges relative to both an aeronautics and reduced-gravity research scenario.  Examples of the real aerospace hardware and software contained in the AEL include an Advanced Flight Simulator (AFS); a laboratory-grade, research wind tunnel; and a working, short-wave receiver and hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS) for aviation.
  3. Family Café     
         Family Café is a unique interactive forum that promotes sustained family involvement at the Tennessee MUREP site—everything from Family Focus Groups to Family Nights and home-based family initiatives. Parents and adult family members can stay engaged in dialogue focused on relevant parenting information and available STEM education opportunities for their child.
  4. Student Professional Development  Opportunities
         SITES-M/MUREP presents guest speakers from the STEM community – business partners, faculty, and college students – to further develop a strong STEM perspective in elementary and middle school students. Discussions center around a common theme: “How did I get from where YOU are to where I am?” Discussion of the path to STEM careers eliminates the mystique of STEM jobs, bringing a student’s current studies into focus and helping to encourage their work – illuminating the path to an attainable future in the STEM professions.
  5. Community Outreach Activities
         Year-round outreach activities include inviting families and children to experience the inside of the Aerospace Education Laboratory (AEL); events that feature TSU’s Digitalis Iota Portable Inflatable Planetarium; the use of flying Parrot Bebop Drones with video cameras that allow children to take pictures as they fly them; Littlebits and Legos.

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