CCTC Student Team Selected to Participate in NASA MINDS Artemis Technology Competition

Central Carolina Technical College students from the Computer Technology, Engineering Design Technology and Management programs have been selected to participate in the NASA MINDS design event. 

NASA MINDS invites college students to design and build innovative technologies for the Artemis mission. CCTC’s project, Novel Minds for Deploying Solar Arrays on the Moon, is an excellent virtual-team opportunity that offers a diverse group of students and instructors the chance to deliver their choice of expertise. 

Each team participating in the competition received a budget of $1,500 to fund the project. Brandon Mitchum, a student in CCTC’s Management Program, tracks the project’s budget funds and the schedule provided by NASA. 

 “The NASA MINDS project has been a great help in building my confidence in the workforce,” says Mitchum. “This project has shown me that everyone is unique. I have the ability to see how significant college departments can work together to achieve tremendous objectives in our plan.” 

CCTC’s team chose to focus on solar arrays for their project submission. “Our team came up with a concept of the structural side of what kind of panels we would use for the solar array. This needs to be a flexible type of material that can stretch or bend. We designed a 2-D print of what this structure should look like and we will try to replicate that into some type of form using different types of materials,” says Engineering Design Technology Instructor Tonyea Daley. “Students are getting an idea of what a real-life project may look like in the workforce. They’re learning the concept of working together and what it takes to communicate and they’re getting a feel for how projects would actually be in the manufacturing world.”Student involvement is one of the key points behind the project. “The students learn how to put projects together and how to carry forth those plans in a team environment,” says Computer Science Instructor Chuck Baldwin. “Because we have students from several different programs at multiple campus locations, we have been conducting weekly meetings through Zoom to keep everyone updated on the project and to continue with collaborations as we move forward with final plans.”

 Tyler Alonzo is a student in the Engineering Design Technology program who will graduate this coming summer semester. “I’m enjoying the project so far and the basis of the entire project with working together and being able to evaluate a problem and come up with a solution. To be able to implement our project with actual designs that we have come up with has really helped me understand how the real workforce is going to be once I graduate,” says Alonzo. “I have more experience now with implementing my own ideas and using what I’ve learned so far to put thoughts into action. I can’t wait to see what happens at the end of this project.”

The full list of team participants includes: Michael Buck, John Burchfield, Tamia Starling, Bethany Wilson, Solonda Wesley, Brandon Mitchum, Kevan Croteau, Tonyea Daley, Tiffani McGainey, Chuck Baldwin, Tyler Alonzo, Brian Johnston, Joseph Jordan and Richard Lavergne. 

Projects submitted will be reviewed by a panel of judges in April and teams can receive recognition awards up to $5,000.

For more information on CCTC’s Management, Engineering Design Technology and Computer Science programs, visit or call 803.778.1961.