LaSPACE Events

LaSPACE Deadlines:

    GSRA: 05/29/2019
    HIS: 05/29/2019
    Internship: CLOSED
    LaACES: 06/19/2019
    LURA: 05/29/2019
    Outreach: OPEN
    REA: 04/24/2019
    RockOn: CLOSED
    Senior Design: 06/19/2019

LaSPACE Programs:

The LaSPACE Strategic Plan


The Louisiana Space Grant Consortium is a statewide consortium of academic institutions and other organizations that was established in 1991 under the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, a national network managed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that includes all 50 states along with the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. LaSPACE is a consortium of institutions of higher education and state education boards, along with business, industry, and non-profit organizations that coordinate statewide programs to strengthen aerospace research and education throughout the State of Louisiana.

Headquartered at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and managed jointly by LSU, Southern University, and the Board of Regents, LaSPACE operates with NASA and state matching funds through a federal-state partnership. LaSPACE conducts activities under the guidance of this Strategic Plan to drive the Consortium forward under the theme of Continuous Improvement to make LaSPACE a positive force, moving Louisiana forward in Research & Development and Education. As NASA is an investment in America's future, LaSPACE invests in Louisiana's future.

This plan is developed in the framework of the needs of both NASA and the State of Louisiana, as befits a Federal-State Partnership. Central to both is the need to train the next generation of students for the future workforce. The next generation of "explorers" should engage in significant hands-on and interdisciplinary experiences in the scientific, engineering, and technical disciplines. To meet this challenge, NASA engages in an Education mission "to inspire the next generation of explorers" (

The LaSPACE Vision
Louisiana, through its colleges and universities, will play a significant role in our Nation's Aerospace future.

As NASA is an investment in America's future with a mission to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research, so LaSPACE partnering with NASA, and with the science and education communities, and industry and governmental agencies, defines its mission in Louisiana in terms of three strategic directions.

The LaSPACE Mission
To enhance Space and Aerospace related research, education, and public awareness throughout the state of Louisiana and thereby promote science, technology, engineering and math education, the training of professionals, and state economic development.

This is a multi-faceted problem, extending from grade school through university and into professional life, involving all levels of the population. Our mission is in accord with the mission of the state's universities for R & D, Economic Development, Scholarship, and Graduate and Undergraduate Education and extends farther to help engage the pre-college education community and the general public. There are many resources offered by NASA and other federal agencies in the Aerospace area, and it is LaSPACE's additional task to provide awareness of the opportunities and to bring some of the resources to Louisiana.

The NASA Education Strategic Coordination Framework: As described ( the alignment of NASA education and the NASA Strategic Plan creates a strategic planning, implementation and evaluation framework for NASA's investments in education. This framework is the cornerstone for the LaSPACE Strategic Plan and forms the basis for development of SMART Goals and Objectives for the various subprograms as well as the program evaluation framework.

The NASA framework establishes three education outcomes:

Each of the Goals presented below is keyed to the major Outcome that it supports. From these, detailed Program Plans with metrics and evaluation are developed on an annual basis for implementation.

LaSPACE Strategic Goals and Objectives

LaSPACE's major Strategic Goals, and a rationale for each, are given below and serve as guiding principles and provide the context for planning and program development. Underlying each of these goals are National Program Emphases on Diversity, Workforce Development, Competitiveness, NASA Relevance, Industry Relations, and State Government Involvement. The Space Grant effort was established to allow utilization of the talent on university campuses, and its directions mirror the three functions of major universities: Research, Education and Service. LaSPACE is a small but important part of the emerging new direction for Research and Education in this country and in the state. LaSPACE provides the stable organization needed to carry out a long-range plan for improvement in space-related research and education in Louisiana.

  1. Foster aerospace related, interdisciplinary, science, technology and engineering research and education at Louisiana colleges and universities. [Outcome 1: Higher Education]

    When LaSPACE was first established the total amount of NASA research funding into Louisiana institutions of higher education was well below $1M. We have witnessed a nearly 10 fold increase so that in 2005 this level exceeded ~$6M. The role of LaSPACE in fostering aerospace related research is through its "seed" Research Infrastructure Awards. Directly coupled with these research stimulation initiatives is the need to keep (and increase) students in aerospace related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Students provide the basic workforce necessary to conduct university based research and, in turn, receive training that will allow them to pursue an aerospace related STEM career. Therefore, LaSPACE provides multiple support programs for undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, LaSPACE supports a number of authentic hands-on research experience programs as well as summer intern positions at NASA centers and aerospace companies. These programs encourage students into an aerospace related career, build their self-confidence and provide them with skills applicable throughout their life. Objectives under this Strategic Goal include:

    • Maintain the undergraduate and graduate assistance programs
    • Increase the number of minority Scholars.
    • Improve the research stimulation programs.
    • Increase the number of LaSPACE sponsored research groups applying for federal support.
    • Assist in establishing at least one aerospace concentration degree program in the state of Louisiana.
    • Include a session for students to report research project results in each state-wide consortium meeting.
    • Support summer student internships each year.
    • Increase the number of institutions participating in LaACES.
    • Support the HASP program through 2011 and partner with the NASA Balloon Program Office to develop an extended HASP program.

  2. Encourage aerospace related industries in Louisiana for economic development and diversification. [Outcome 1: Higher Education]

    The Michoud Assembly Facility, located near New Orleans, is the major aerospace industrial facility in Louisiana. This facility was used to assemble the Saturn V first stage for the Apollo program, the external tank for the Shuttle program and is planned to be the site of assembly of Ares vehicle stages as well as the Orion crew vehicle. In gearing up for the next stage of NASA human exploration of the Moon, Mars or other objects, the state of Louisiana and NASA have committed resources to enhance the facility and lay the ground work for a new aerospace industrial park at the facility. Developing the Louisiana aerospace industry helps to diversify the local economy as well as to provide high technology jobs for students supported by LaSPACE programs and graduating with STEM degrees. We continue to work with the Louisiana Business & Technology Center, a LaSPACE affiliate, as well as with state agencies, to encourage and expand the Louisiana aerospace industry. Specific objectives include the following:

    • Develop new partnerships with the companies locating at the new Michoud Aerospace Industrial Park.
    • Develop a summer intern program with Louisiana aerospace related STEM industries and support summer interns at these facilities.
    • Establish a web accessible "clearing house" to link Louisiana graduates with Louisiana aerospace related jobs.
    • Sponsor a "Louisiana Space Forum" involving industry, government (including NASA centers) and academia.

  3. Promote and contribute to science, technology, engineering and mathematics pre-college education excellence. [Outcome 2: Elementary and Secondary Education]

    It is now well established that both male and female elementary students are very excited by science, but by the time these same students, and particularly female students, reach college they often choose non-STEM degree programs and careers. The quality and quantity of middle school and high school science classes / activities is likely to greatly affect student outlook on STEM programs. Therefore, it is very important that K-12 teachers receive training designed to improve classroom excellence and to utilize NASA materials, as indicated, in the classroom setting. Objectives include the following: their life. Objectives under this Strategic Goal include:

    • Support pre-college teachers at aerospace content knowledge workshops.
    • Support pre-college teachers for a summer experience at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility.
    • Support projects that involve university-middle school/high school partnerships.

  4. Engage and educate the general public in NASA's space exploration projects, benefits and opportunities as well as Louisiana's role in the NASA program. [Outcome 3: Informal Education]

    Public understanding and support for science research and education is the bedrock upon which the future of the NASA space program can be built. Public outreach allows us to captivate young students into studying science and to educate adults on the benefits of the space program. LaSPACE affiliates currently include science centers, and LaSPACE supports the Mobile Astronomy Resource System (MARS) vehicle that can drive to remote locations to provide a 'science presence.' Specific objectives include the following:

    • Support MARS events at public venues around the state.
    • Foster cooperative projects between science centers and local universities, including proposing to a NASA informal education solicitation.
    • Increase partnership activities with the science and informal learning centers.
    • Support existing general public programs with NASA materials and expertise.

  5. Maintain a cooperative, effective and inclusive consortium of Louisiana institutions to promote aerospace related research, education and economic development. [Outcome: Effective Management]

    The Louisiana Space Grant Consortium was established in 1991 and currently involves 24 affiliates including universities, state agencies, industries, non-profits and science centers across the state. The consortium has operated effectively for close to 20 years coordinating programs among affiliates, the private sector, state and local government and NASA centers as well as providing student fellowships, supporting "seed" research programs, enhancing K-12 teacher professional development, including diversity in its program participants and reaching out to the public to bring the marvels of space exploration down to Earth. Over the next five year period we expect to maintain our high quality program as well as enhance consortium operations. Specific objectives for this management goal are:

    • Improve affiliate participation in consortium meetings, program solicitations and survey responses.
    • Improve participation of minorities, females, and other diverse groups.
    • Enhance regular communication with affiliates using new web-based tools and communication technologies.
    • Hold at least one state wide consortium meeting each year.