‘Over the moon:’ WSU student accepted into NASA summer academy 


COURTESY/Maggie Brown

Maggie Brown, a junior studying aerospace engineering at WSU, is attending the NASA L’SPACE Academy this summer. She said she’s always been fascinated with space.

Maggie Brown, an aerospace engineering major at WSU, is taking the first steps toward her dreams of working for NASA. The junior was accepted this month into the NASA L’SPACE Academy summer program. 

“I was absolutely overjoyed,” Brown said. “It felt unreal that I was finally going to be able to participate in something with NASA because that has been a dream of mine since a very long time.”

The free online program consists of two separate 12-week long academies: the Mission Concept Academy and the NASA Proposal Writing and Evaluation Experience Academy. Brown is currently attending the latter, which started last week.

Brown said working on a proposal for NASA is even better than she could have imagined. 

“The cool part about what they’re doing this summer is they’re putting NASA professionals on our teams,” she said, “so I’m working with people in the industry and learning a skill that I will most definitely use in the future.”

Brown said she’s had a fascination for space as long as she can remember. As a child, she would attend camps at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson. For the past four summers, she’s returned as a camp counselor.  

Brown hopes to work on rockets for NASA in the future and is planning on applying to the Lucy Ambassador Program next May. 

Maggie Brown holds a NASA sign. Brown said she’s dreamed of working for NASA since she was young. (COURTESY/Maggie Brown)

“There’s this huge unknown that really intrigues me like, ‘What are these planets?’, ‘What would it be like to live there?’, ‘How can we possibly do that?’” Brown said. “Because we can exist on other spaces … but it’s puzzle of how do we get there and how do we do that.” 

Brown is also one of six WSU students who were named University Innovation Fellows by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.

Dr. Gary Brooking, director of the engineering technology program at WSU and advisor for UIF, said that Brown was quiet and reserved when she joined UIF, but he said she developed into an “articulate” and “well spoken” future engineer. 

“I am really impressed with Maggie and continue to be. She’s going to be a successful and key person for our university going forward,” Brooking said. I’m really pleased she got this opportunity, because she’s going to do a great job and deserves it…This is her area [of study] and it’s what she’s dreamed of and what she lives for.

“She’s over the moon.”

The NASA L’SPACE Academy is open to undergraduate students pursuing a degree in STEM. Visit https://www.lspace.asu.edu/ for more information about the program.