Involving NMSU freshmen in engineering research increases retention

Launching a high-altitude balloon to 100,000 feet or remotely carrying out a complex heat transfer experiment in a sounding rocket may sound daunting, but professors in the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University have found that involving freshmen in these types of research projects early in their academic careers have kept students interested in engineering.

Since late 2014, Krishna Kota, mechanical engineering assistant professor, and Steve Stochaj, professor in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, have supervised freshmen for a pilot program called Payloads to Space, which is a collaboration between the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium and Hawaii Space Grant Consortium.

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