BACKGROUND


A partnership between California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), Victor Valley College (VVC), and College of the Desert (COD) was awarded a National Science Foundation - Centers In Research Excellent in Science and Technology (NSF-CREST) grant for the period between 2015-2019. The grant aims at increasing recruitment of unrepresentative groups in the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the three institutions. The grant offers undergraduate research opportunities to students majoring in STEM disciplines. At VVC, these research opportunities consist of WINTERNSHIPS and NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center NASA-AFRC) research projects.

WINTERNSHIPS


Winternships are four-week projects led by VVC faculty in the area of Physics (also available in Chemistry). Students work on a topic, not covered in courses offered at VVC, and create a poster and give a presentation at the end of the internship. Students learn how to use the computer Algebra System (CAS) Maple as well as the typesetting language of LaTeX. Maple is used to model various conditions of the topic under consideration and LaTeX is used to create the presentation and the poster.

Research project that have been completed are:
  • Predator - Prey Models (2015)
  • The Double Pendulum (2016)
  • The Wave Equation and Solitons (2017)

NASA AFRC


The grant funds two students from VVC for a summer internship at NASA-AFRC. Students are chosen by NASA engineers to work on projects at AFRC for ten weeks. Students working at AFRC get a real experience at what it means to be a NASA engineer and learn many skills that they can use once they are done with their academic degrees.