CHALMETTE — Outer space was the focus during a day-long event Sept. 6 on the campus of Nunez Community College.
In addition to Jobs for the Future hosting its day-long ‘Space Industries Workforce Strategies’ event, a summit dedicated to expanding apprenticeship opportunities at local space-focused industries, Nunez also hosted the official ribbon cutting for its Voyage Mark II scale model solar system walking exhibit.
The Voyage Mark exhibit spans the entire Nunez campus, marking all major celestial objects in our solar system with stanchions representing the sun, the nine planets, the asteroid belt and the Voyager spacecraft. The educational attraction is spaced to scale to give visitors to the Nunez campus a tangible idea of the distance between objects in our solar system.
The ribbon-cutting was attended by special guests including Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Nunez Foundation Board members and St. Bernard Parish officials.
Nunez Chancellor Dr. Tina Tinney said the new exhibit, one of just 14 in the United States, was pursued and installed with the intent that it be used as an educational tool by the entire southeastern Louisiana region. She said Nunez is the ideal host thanks to the college’s Aerospace Manufacturing Technology program, the only program of its kind in the state, which regularly supplies graduates to the various aerospace industries working at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.
“This is an effort to welcome everyone onto our campus to learn about our solar system, our opportunities here at Michoud and NASA, and here at Nunez as well,” said Tinney. “Nunez’s desire is to be a destination in learning, both inside and outside the classroom.”
Nunez plans to add more interactive elements to the Voyage Mark exhibit in the future.
Meanwhile, during JFF’s ‘Space Industries Workforce Strategies’ summit, a full day of events focused on internships in the space sector included a fireside chat moderated by JFF Director Joshua Johnson with special guests including Dr. Quincy Brown, Director of Space STEM and Workforce Policy White House National Space Council, and Manny Lamarre, Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Labor. JFF Associate Director Melissa MacGregor led a panel on internships that included officials from NASA, 1881 Institute, Stennis, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Laitram.