Scholarship Applications

The regular application period for Academic Year 2020-21 scholarships has closed. But applications are still being accepted for students enrolled at Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore, as well as late applications from other member institutions on a case by case basis until all slots are filled. For information about the program and to submit an application, visit the MDSGC Scholarships page.

MDSGC Summer Exchange Internship Program

Each year, student interns are placed at participating MDSGC universities for a paid 10-week engineering internship experience. Visit the 2020 Summer Exchange page to view information about this year’s projects.

The MDSGC Summer Exchange program supports qualified students from participating universities to partake in hands-on summer engineering internships at any of the other participating institutions. Interested students should contact the faculty coordinator (see below) at their home institution.

Currently, the participating institutions and faculty coordinators are:

Capitol Technology University
Prof. Alex “Sandy” Antunes

Morgan State University
Prof. Guangming Chen

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Prof. Carlos Romero-Talamás

University of Maryland, College Park
Prof. Mary Bowden

University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
Prof. Abhijit Nagchaudhuri

Any questions may be addressed to the faculty coordinator at your institution or Matt Collinge at MDSGC.

RockOn Workshop – Summer 2020

RockOn! 2020 workshop bannerRockOn, a workshop at Wallops Flight Facility for sounding rocket payload design, is an exciting chance for teams of students to kickstart payload projects at their home institutions. Participants in the workshop will build a working scientific payload and then see it launch on a real sounding rocket!

MDSGC secures a number of slots for each year’s workshop and encourages Maryland students to submit applications! Make sure you are familiar with the information on the RockOn page, especially the Workshop and Travel details found under the “Information” tab. Then, complete our application below! The due  date for applications for this year’s workshop was March 21, 2020.

2020 RockOn update: unfortunately, the workshop had to be cancelled for this year. Please stay tuned for more information about next year and check the main RockOn page for any updates.

Application for RockON Workshop

Application for RockON Workshop

Are you a U.S. citizen or permanent resident? *
If offered a RockON slot, will you bring a vehicle to RockON, and if so are you willing to carpool with other attendees for transportation between lodgings and the workshop locations? *
Are you interested in a shared hotel room option? *

Mercury on the Face of the Sun: 11/11/19

Image of Mercury in transit across the Sun in 2016, by Elijah Matthews via - flipped vertically to emphasize the silhouette of Mercury instead of the sunspot group also present.
Photo credit: 2016 Mercury transit by Elijah Matthews via Image has been flipped vertically.

On November 11, 2019, tiny planet Mercury crossed between Earth and the Sun. Observers fortunate enough to be beneath clear skies on the sunward side of the Earth when this happens could hope to view the celestial conjunction, officially known as a transit. Transits of Mercury occur about a dozen times per century. The most recent was in 2016, and the next is in 2032! (In 2032 the transit will not be visible from North America.)

Mercury is quite small, so eclipse glasses are not sufficient to see it. Properly configured solar binoculars, or ideally a high magnification solar telescope, are needed. Always use caution when observing the Sun!

Thanks to those who came up to join us at the Maryland Space Grant Observatory, as we trained our telescopes to follow the transit from approximately 9:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m. EST. Here is a NASA video showing the full transit:

For more information about the 11/11/2019 Mercury transit, check out this page from NASA JPL or this very detailed page at

Summer Internship Proposals

MDSGC invites proposals to support summer internships and student research projects at Maryland institutions. Prospective mentors (typically, faculty at educational institutions) who have not previously applied for MDSGC funds are especially encouraged to apply.

Projects may be in any STEM area with relevance to NASA’s missions or future workforce needs. Preference will be given to proposals with strong NASA connections, including collaboration with NASA scientists or engineers, research associated with past, present or future NASA missions, and general aerospace or space science relevance. A typical proposal will request support for 1-2 students. This opportunity is primarily intended for undergraduate level students, but proposals to support high-school or graduate interns, or a larger cohort of students, may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For priority consideration for the upcoming summer, proposals must be submitted to no later than mid-January; the first awards are issued in early February. Late proposals will be considered on a rolling basis subject to availability of funding.

Rules and restrictions:

  • Students receiving direct funding through this program must be U.S. citizens.
  • Students supported through this program will be required to:
    • Present their work at the MDSGC symposium in late July/early August in Baltimore;
    • Complete an exit survey at the end of the project;
    • Agree to participate in MDSGC longitudinal tracking.
  • Depending on oversubscription rate and funding constraints, MDSGC may limit awards to no more than 2 students per institution.

Required proposal elements:

  1. Mentor qualifications — Brief description of professional qualifications and past mentorship experience.
  2. Project description — No more than one page about each project and its relevance to NASA.
  3. Student recruitment plan — Briefly describe how students will be recruited; if specific students have already been identified, briefly describe how they were recruited and their qualifications. We especially encourage proposals with recruitment targeted at women and members of underrepresented minorities.
  4. Student learning goals and timeline — Examples: programming languages, analysis techniques, specialized topical knowledge, intermediate milestones in project completion.
  5. Mentoring plan/evaluation — How often student and primary mentor will meet; peer mentoring/group participation; what feedback will be provided to the student. Criteria for overall project and student success.
  6. Deliverables/expected results — Include plan for presenting results and/or incorporating into publications.
  7. Budget — Preference will be given to proposals that incorporate significant non-federal match (university, state, corporate, or private funds), including in-kind contributions (e.g., mentor’s contributed time), and for which MDSGC funds are used primarily to support student stipends. Up to $500 may be budgeted, per intern, for materials (if needed; please describe). Please see NASA internship stipend guidelines in the table below. Students supported through this program will also be eligible to apply to MDSGC for travel support to present their work at a meeting within the following calendar year. Funds for such travel may but need not be built into the proposal budget. 

NASA Internship Stipend Levels (effective Fall 2018)
Fall and Spring (16 weeks)
Full-time graduate: $14,400
Full-time undergrad: $11,680
Summer (10 weeks)
Full-time graduate: $9,000
Full-time undergrad: $7,300

Please contact MDSGC Deputy Director Matt Collinge with any questions.

Microscopes and Telescopes – Oct. 18

Flyer for MDSGC/CMMS October 18th event

We are pleased to announce a special event at the Observatory on Friday, October 18th! In partnership with the Chesapeake Microscopy & Microanalysis Society, MDSGC will host a public lecture, “Meteorites – from Microscopes to Telescopes” by Emma Bullock. The event will also feature microscopy demonstrations and astronomical observing, weather permitting. See the event flyer for more details (click on image above).

Even if you’ve missed the chance to register, you can still join us for the demonstrations and observing starting around 7:30 p.m.!

HCC Summer Bridge Internships

Hagerstown Community College students: Are you interested in Space? Aeronautics? Robotics? Astrophysics?  Or any other STEM field of study of relevance to NASA?

Each summer, MDSGC supports one or more paid summer internships for HCC students interested in NASA-relevant studies who are (1) U.S. citizens; (2) pursuing a STEM major; and (3) considering enrolling at one of the following universities: Capitol Technology University, Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, Towson University, University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland Baltimore County, or University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

HCC students who will have completed at least one year of studies by summer can apply for this opportunity. For successful applicants, the Maryland Space Grant Consortium will arrange a paid 10-week summer internship at any of the above universities focused in the area of your choice. In addition to the hands-on research and learning experience of the internship itself, this will provide the opportunity to get to know the university you may ultimately attend.

Applications for Summer 2020 will be accepted through March 2020.

To get an idea about what kind of internship projects MDSGC sponsors, and to view specific project options for the upcoming summer, see the Summer Exchange Internship Information. To get started, open the application.

For more information please contact either:

HCC Bridge Coordinator
Prof. Ed Sigler
Office: STEM-424
(240) 500-2610

Maryland Space Grant Consortium
Matt Collinge, Deputy Director
(410) 516-7106

2019 Student Research Symposium

Student group photo at 2019 MDSGC research symposium
Photo credit: Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

The 2019 MDSGC Student Research Symposium, held Saturday, July 27, showcased presentations by more than 30 student interns and researchers working at sites across Maryland. Institutions represented included Capitol Technology University, Goddard Space Flight Center, Hagerstown Community College, Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, Towson University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Maryland College Park, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore. We congratulate our students on a successful summer and look forward to seeing more of their work in the future!

The full program follows, including links to presentation files (in PDF) where available. This page will be updated as final presentation versions are submitted.

Talk Session 1

8:00 a.m.
Introductory Remarks — Matt Collinge

8:05 a.m.

8:15 a.m.

8:25 a.m.

8:35 a.m.

8:45 a.m.

8:55 a.m.

9:05 a.m.

9:15 a.m.

9:25 a.m.
Poster Flash Talks

Poster Session

Manufacturing Detailed 3D Models of Spacecraft Hardware in Support of Goddard Mission Proposals — Marcelo Arispe-Guzman

Dusty Plasma Lab: Voltage Amplifier Design and Construction Using Piezoelectric Elements — Marcus Bailey

Autonomous Instrumented Robotic Sensory Platforms to Advance Creativity and Engage Students (AIRSPACES) — Zachary Chavez

Spectroscopy Diagnostics/Mirrors for Critical Ionization Velocity Measurements — Kim Frost

Superhero Physics as a Teaching Tool in Introductory Physics (PDF) — Jasmine Jackson

A Model for Intergalactic Dust and its Impact on the Extragalactic Background Light (PDF) — Maegan Jennings

Gravitational Lensing and a First Test of Exotic Topology (PDF) — Greg Kuri

Development of Spacecraft Contact Analysis and Maneuver Planning Scenarios for Spacecraft Operations Training — Lucia Stainer

Dust Size Characterization through Microscopy — Bojiun (Andy) Tsao

Decoding Light Characteristics in Space — Shuchen Zhang

Reliability of Stormwater Best Management Practices in Washington, D.C. (PDF) — Mohammadreza Jabehdari

3D Design and Manufacturing Analysis of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engine (LPRE) Nozzle (PDF) — Marc Caballes and Sam Alamu

Talk Session 2

11:00 a.m.
Welcome Back — Matt Collinge

11:05 a.m.

11:15 a.m.

11:25 a.m.

11:35 a.m.

11:45 a.m.

11:55 p.m.

12:05 p.m.

12:15 p.m.

12:25 p.m.