Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia


Sep 23, 2016
Press Release

Columbus, GA – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) congratulates Columbus State University on its $1.25 million Museum Alliance grant award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Columbus State University received the grant in partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Museum of Aviation Education Center in Warner Robins, and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.

These organizations will work with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, through the Innovation Mars Exploration Education and Technology program (IMEET), to educate high school students about the design and production of Mars exploration vehicles. The Kennedy Space Center will be in charge of the program, Georgia Tech will construct a curriculum, and Columbus State University will develop a two-week summer program that utilizes 3D printing technology to teach students about Mars helicopters and rovers. In addition, the funding will allow Columbus State University to hold workshops for local educators to hone their skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction.

“The possibility of a Mars landing by the year 2025 is an exhilarating notion,” said Congressman Bishop. “I thank Columbus State University and the Coca Cola Space Science Center for their innovative leadership in science and space education, and I am thrilled that students in southwest Georgia will be at the forefront of this movement.”

The Coca Cola Space Science Center, owned and operated through Columbus State University, will host the summer programs established under this initiative. The University will be able to instruct 25 students and 15 teachers per year. For the first few years, the Science Center will work with the Muscogee County School District to recruit participants. As the program progresses, the participants will be selected by the Coca Cola Space Science Center from a larger base of students and teachers.

The NASA Museum Alliance is a group of more than 700 U.S. and 90 international museums, science centers, planetariums, observatories, park visitor centers, nature centers, zoos, aquariums, libraries, camps, and youth organizations. The Alliance works to engage NASA‘s resources with community educators, staff, and leadership. The Museum Alliance Grant awarded to Columbus State University was one of nine proposals that was selected out of 73 total applications.