STEM Community-College Opportunity for Research Experience (SCORE) Program

2019-20 SCORE Recipients and Project Presentations

Nathaniel Balmain - Southwestern Oregon Community College | Mentor: Aaron Coyner, Ph.D.
Using UV Event Localization to Constrain Magnetic Reconnection Geometry in Solar Flares

Haley Dean - Oregon Coast Community College | Mentor: William Lilley
Project Stardust: The Search for Micrometeorites in the Oregon Coastal Environments

Anya DeCarlo - Portland Community College, Cascade Campus | Mentor: Brett Schaerer
The Effect of UVC Radiation on Tardigrades

Marisa Gonzalez - Portland Community College, Southeast Campus | Mentor: Alexie Mckee
Investigating the Growth of Breathable Oxygen Producers in Cytherean, Lunar, and Martian Pressures

David Guarente - Portland Community College, Southeast Campus | Mentor: Eriks Puris
An Explorative Analysis into Mount St. Helens Volcanic Ash

Jonathan Lambert - Lane Community College | Mentor: Edgar F. Rosas Alquicira, Ph.D.
On-Land Experimental Cultivation of a Nutritionally Dense Seaweed for its Human Consumption in Space

Hayden Reinhold - Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus | Mentor: Eric Hall
Analysis of Electrical and Temperature Relationships for Rechargeable Batteries

Philip Renaud-Tussey - Lane Community College | Mentor: Dennis Gilbert, Ph.D.
Simulation & Experiment of Normal Force Interactions in Micro-Gravity Environment

Briar Rogers - Portland Community College, Southeast Campus | Mentor: Julia Betts
Investigating the Feasibility of Using Martian Soil as a Medium for Agricultural Food Production

Zackary Rood - Portland Community College, Southeast Campus | Mentor: Alexie Mckee
Observing the Growth of Breathable O2 Producers in Cytherean, Lunar, and Martian Atmospheric Composition and Light Conditions

Ryne Shelton - Portland Community College, Southeast Campus | Mentor: Lee Collins
Investigating Solid Oxide Fuel Cells as a Lightweight, Highly Efficient Alternative to the Standard Alkaline Battery

Ethan Stouder - Portland Community College, Southeast Campus | Mentor: Julia Betts
Plastic to Reforest the Earth

Click here for the 2019-20 SCORE Program Abstracts Publication
2019-20 SCORE Program Updates

May 29, 2020: SCORE Program UPDATE for 2019-20 SCORE RECIPIENTS

We hope everyone is staying safe and doing well while adapting to working and learning remotely these past couple of months. As we near the due date for the SCORE projects, I wanted to provide a few updates and reminders regarding the required final documents.

We understand that, given the current situation, some of you may not have been able to complete your SCORE project exactly as planned due to limited access to resources. Please know that limitations due to COVID-19 are beyond your control and will not impact final assessment of your project or delay your stipend. Part of any research experience is understanding and adapting to variables beyond your control. We ask that you complete your final report and presentation based upon the scope of work you were able to complete remotely. You may not be exactly where you thought you would be, but you can report on where you are, and we look forward to hearing about your accomplishments!


·       Citations and references

When citing other’s work in your final report/presentation, you must document the sources of information. Use general APA format for citations and references. Refer to for more information.

·       Logos/Insignia

Typically, logos representing your funding source are included in your presentation. The National Space Grant Program (Space Grant) logo and the NASA Partner Insignia have been sent to SCORE recipients for use on your presentation. You MUST adhere to the following guidelines:

  • The Space Grant logo and NASA Partner Insignia should be used together.
  • The Space Grant logo must be positioned either to the left or above the NASA Partner Insignia.
  • One logo should not be larger than the other.
  • The relative size, shape, and colors of the logos must remain intact.
  • If the NASA Partner Insignia is used on a white background, the box surrounding the insignia cannot be removed. If the NASA Partner Insignia is used on a contrasting background, the box is not necessary.
  • When using the NASA Partner Insignia, the following Disclaimer Statement must be included:
    • “The material contained in this document is based upon work supported by a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grant or cooperative agreement. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA."
    • The disclaimer statement should be placed immediately below or immediately to the right of the NASA Partner Insignia. If such placement is not possible, an asterisk may be placed next to the NASA Partner Insignia and the disclaimer statement may appear elsewhere on the same page with a related asterisk. The disclaimer statement should appear in Helvetica font and large enough to be legible and in a reasonable size in relation to the NASA Partner Insignia
  • Please only use the logos you received via email; do not copy logos/insignia from the web. Do NOT use the NASA “meatball” logo alone without the word “Partner” below.
Please be sure to review the Final Document requirements listed below and previously sent out via email on April 7, 2020.


April 7, 2020: SCORE Program UPDATE for 2019-20 SCORE RECIPIENTS

Dear Oregon NASA Space Grant SCORE Recipients and Mentors:

We know there is much uncertainty as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it is having on our daily lives. OSGC is doing our best to maintain our programs and ensure student experiences remain as intact as possible during these unprecedented times. We will continue to send updates and resources to help you best complete your SCORE research project. Please note the important updates to the SCORE program below:


    NOTE: All final documents may be turned in any time work is complete, but no later than the Close of Business (COB), Friday, June 12, 2020. All final documents must be uploaded at once; there is not a save and submit later option. Upload all final documents online to

    1.     Final Report

    • The due date for the Final Report is Close of Business (COB) Friday, June 12, 2020.
    • Minimum 2 pages - 12-point type, single spaced, 1-inch margins.
    • Final Report must be signed by your project mentor and the OSGC affiliate representative at your institution.
    • Final Reports must include:
      • Description of execution and outcome of the project
      • Evaluation and analysis of the results
      • What you personally gained from the experience
      • How it supported or modified your perspective on research in general
      • Time spent on the project
      • List of publications arising from the work if applicable
    • Upload your final report online:

    2.     Transcripts

    • Winter term 2020 transcripts, confirming enrollment in a minimum of 6 credit hours per term in STEM-related coursework, should be uploaded as part of the required final documentation. STEM students not currently enrolled in STEM-related coursework should provide supplemental information, including but not limited to:
      • Documentation declaring a STEM-related major or degree path
      • Documentation of degree plan provided by advisor (general or degree-specific), which includes STEM-related coursework
      • Letter of recommendation from past STEM faculty member or mentor
    • Transcripts are due no later than COB, Friday, June 12, 2020.
    • Upload your transcripts online:

    3.     Abstract

    • Students must provide an abstract of the material that will be covered in the final report and PowerPoint presentation.
    • Abstracts are no more than 250 words and should include your project purpose, methodology, results, and conclusions.
    • Be sure to include Title and Author with the abstract.

    • A publication of abstracts will be generated upon completion of all SCORE projects and made available to all SCORE recipients.
    • Abstracts are due no later than COB, Friday, June 12, 2020.
    • Upload your abstract online:

    4.     Presentation

    • Although students will not deliver an in-person presentation at a Symposium, students are required to submit a PowerPoint Presentation detailing their SCORE project/experience as part of the required final documentation. Final presentations will be posted to the OSGC website upon completion of the project.
    • Presentations should be uploaded as a pdf format.
    • Presentations are due no later than COB, Friday, June 12, 2020.
    • Upload your presentation online:

    5.     Updated Address

    • We understand that due to the current situation, addresses may have changed for some of you. Students are asked to provide a current address where stipend checks may be mailed.
    • Upload a current mailing address online:

    NOTE: More detailed information about final documentation will be forthcoming.


    •  Stipend checks will be released once all final documents are submitted online and reviewed by OSGC.
    • Checks will not be held until the due date of June 12, 2020 if work is completed early.


    • The SCORE Symposium scheduled for May 22, 2020 is cancelled.


    • Please contact the OSGC SCORE Program POC, Catherine Lanier via email at for questions or more information.
    • The STEM Center at Portland Community College, Southeast Campus, has student and adjunct faculty mentors who are generating virtual resources by creating webinars and materials to support student research as everyone works remotely. They are happy to share the resources with SCORE recipients and mentors. If you are a SCORE recipient or mentor and would like more information about the available resources, please contact the STEM Center Coordinator, Julia Betts via email at or via phone at 971-722-6417

    Thank you for your patience as we navigate unchartered territory together and strive to make your SCORE research experience as complete and meaningful as possible. We look forward to hearing about your research projects and your SCORE experience!


    2019-20 SCORE Program



    • Awards worth $800 are available to community college students who complete a research project that aligns to NASA’s varied interests.
    • Students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) can apply, as well as those interested in STEM education.
    • This document provides students and mentors with information about eligibility, deadlines, and other aspects that will guide you through the application process, and should be read carefully.
    • If you have questions, you may contact your campus representative for the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium (OSGC) or OSGC staff (listed below).



    The Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium (OSGC) is pleased to provide students attending our member community colleges an opportunity to apply for a one-time, research award that supports their academic study in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), or in STEM education. The STEM Community-College Opportunity for Research Experience (SCORE) program awards community college student-researchers with a stipend upon completion of an academic term-long research project and oral presentation. Students are guided in their project by faculty members at universities or community colleges who have active research opportunities available for students, or an interest in supporting student research. These awards also serve to recognize the student’s achievements in the STEM fields. 

    The SCORE Program supports the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) objectives of fostering and encouraging careers in STEM and STEM education and developing a diverse and capable next-generation workforce in aerospace science and technology. Women, individuals from underrepresented groups in the STEM fields, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

    The NASA Office of STEM Engagement develops student programs and opportunities that are driven by the research priorities of the Mission Directorates. To this end, applicants will need to demonstrate how their project relates to NASA’s Vision/Mission and substantively aligns with the research priorities of at least one of the Mission Directorates (see Appendix A. Strategic Framework for NASA and Appendix B. Research Priorities for NASA Mission Directorates).

    Awards are open to a broad range of STEM disciplines, including but not limited to the Biological and Life Sciences, Chemistry, Geological and Planetary Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Sciences, Civil Engineering, and STEM Education. Students should contact OSGC if they have questions about whether their field of study is suitable.



    Applicants must be currently enrolled and in good academic standing at one of the following OSGC community college member institutions:


    Affiliate Member Institution



    Lane Community College*

    Dennis Gilbert

    Linn-Benton Community College

    Kristina Holton

    Oregon Coast Community College

    Matthew Fisher

    Portland Community College
    Cascade Campus*

    Deborah Cochrane

    Portland Community College
    Rock Creek Campus*

    Andy Hilt

    Portland Community College Southeast Campus*

    Julia Betts

    Portland Community College
    Sylvania Campus*

    Toby Dittrich

    Southwestern Oregon Community College

    Aaron Coyner

    Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium Catherine Lanier

    * Minority Serving Institution



    This award is designed to provide community college students an opportunity to work together with a faculty mentor on an academic term-long research project in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) or STEM education that goes beyond what is taught in the classroom. Projects may be mentor recommended or a unique student-driven idea. Projects may be completed as an individual or as part of a team project. Applications from multiple people working on a single project may be submitted, but all individual applications are not guaranteed funding; proposed projects must be able to stand-alone or be portions of a larger project that are not dependent on one another for completion. Proposals must primarily be the work of the student.

    Possible projects include but are not limited to the Linn-Benton Community College Space Exploration Team Projects, Oregon Coast Community College Scientific Observation & Atmospheric Research (SOAR) Program, the Portland Community College Portland Teachers Program, high-altitude ballooning, rocketry programs, and CubeSat programs. Students interested in gaining additional hands-on experience should discuss potential projects with their OSGC representative.

    Awards will be competitively awarded to students enrolled at OSGC-affiliated community colleges. Students who are dual-enrolled in a community college and a 4-year institution are eligible to apply as long as minimum enrollment eligibility is met. Community college students may work with mentors from 4-year institutions or with someone other than the affiliate representative. Projects should be completed within the winter term after award selections are made. Projects and mentors must be approved by the OSGC representative at your institution.



    Awards in the amount of $800 per student will be competitively awarded to community college students during the 2019-20 academic year. If awarded, all work must be completed by end of winter term/beginning of spring term 2020. Funding is for compensation of a student's time, travel costs to the Student Symposium, and costs associated with printing a poster. Funds are NOT intended for supplies to be used for the research project. Funds for supplies related to the project should be provided by the mentor and/or department.

    Awards will be made in one disbursement of $800 upon completion of the research project, submission of an accepted final report, and participation in the SCORE Student Symposium in May 2020. This is a non-renewable award, paid in one disbursement, over one academic term only. Of these awards, a minimum of three (3) will be awarded to students attending an OSGC affiliated Minority Serving Institution (MSI).

    NOTE: Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium’s obligation to make awards is contingent upon availability of funds from the NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.



    • Application Deadline: Friday, November 22, 2019

    • Award Selections: By December 13, 2019

    • Duration: Winter Term - Work should be completed by end of Winter Term/beginning of Spring Term, April/May 2020

    • Participation in SCORE Student Symposium: Friday, May 22, 2020 at LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus, Corvallis

    • Award Disbursement: $800 - Students will receive the award funds upon completion of work, submission of final report, and participation in the SCORE Student Symposium

    NOTE: There is not a hard deadline when work must be finalized; however, a final report must be submitted prior to the SCORE Student Symposium and students must participate in the symposium in order to receive the award check.



    • All students participating in the project must be U.S. citizens.

    • Student is enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours per term in STEM-related coursework at an affiliated community college at the time of application (fall 2019) and remains enrolled for the duration of the award (through winter 2020). Student may be dual-enrolled in an affiliated community college and 4-year institution through the duration of the award.

    • For "STEM" students not currently enrolled in "STEM-related coursework", supplemental information may be provided, including but not limited to:

      • Documentation declaring a STEM-related major or degree path.

      • Documentation of degree plan provided by adviser (general or degree-specific), which includes STEM-related coursework.

      • Letter of recommendation from past STEM faculty member or mentor.

             Please discuss options with your OSGC affiliate representative to ensure criteria are adequately met.

    • Student must maintain good academic standing.
    • Projects and mentors must be approved by the OSGC Affiliate Representative.
    • Participation of female, underrepresented minorities in STEM fields, and persons with disabilities is strongly encouraged.



    Application Questions
    On the on-line application form, you will be prompted to answer the following questions:

    • What are your interests in STEM and what areas would you like to explore in your academic career?
    • How do your academic interests substantively align with the research priorities of one or more of the NASA Mission Directorates (see Appendices A and B)? Please be as specific as possible.
    • Explain the motivation for your unique research idea or describe specific aspects of your mentor-recommended project that interested you?
    • For many community college students, participating in research is a new experience that can help shape your expectations of a STEM career. Briefly describe what research experiences you may have already participated in, or what insights you hope to gain by participating in your first research experience with the SCORE program.

    Research/Project Proposal
    A 2-4 page proposal is required, and must include the following (see Appendix C for template):

    1. Cover Page: Include project title and student’s and faculty mentor’s contact information.
    2. Research Problem or Project Overview: Provide a clear description of your research problem or a detailed overview of the project you are proposing.
    3. Relationship to NASA’s Mission: Describe how your problem or project relates to NASA’s overall mission (see Appendices A and B).
    4. Goals: Describe the goals to be achieved with your research project.
    5. Experimental design or project plan: Clearly explain the design of the experiment or plan of the project you are proposing.
    6. References: Cite sources for project-related information.
    7. Project Timeline: Provide a realistic and attainable timeline for completion of your proposed project. Project should be completed within one academic term.
    8. Estimate of Weekly Time Commitment: Provide an estimate of how many hours you anticipate working on your project per week and an explanation of how this will fit into your personal schedule.

    Proposals should be single-spaced, using standard 8½ x 11 paper, in font not smaller than 12-point with a minimum of 1” margins. All pages must be numbered sequentially. Proposals must be signed by the OSGC Affiliate Representative from the student’s institution. See Appendix C for the proposal template.

    Letter of Support
    The faculty mentor must write a supporting letter, describing how the student will contribute to the research or project, indicating support for the proposal, and demonstrating clear understanding of the role of SCORE Mentor. The letter of support should be included with the student’s application packet.

    Academic Transcript
    A PDF version of your academic transcript must be submitted with your online application. Unofficial transcripts from your college or university website are acceptable.

    Online Application Website



    Applications are ranked based on the following criteria:

    • Academic Achievement
    • Direct relation to NASA vision and substantive alignment with research priorities of one or more of NASA mission directorates
    • Strength of student essay
    • Strength of letter of support/commitment of mentor
    • Strength and feasibility of research/project proposal



    • Student Profile Form: Students agree to complete an online Student Profile Form when they accept the award. This information is used for reporting to NASA Office of STEM Engagement and for longitudinal tracking purposes to evaluate the effectiveness of NASA’s higher education programs.
    • Final Report: A final report of at least 2 pages must be submitted prior to the SCORE Student Symposium in May 2020. The report should describe the execution and outcome of the project, and the evaluation and analysis of the results. Also include what you personally gained from the experience and how it supported or modified your perspective on research.
    • SCORE Symposium: Students agree to present a poster and make an oral presentation about their research experience for the OSGC SCORE Symposium on Friday, May 22, 2020. NOTE: Posters are retained by OSGC for display on the OSU campus and/or future Space Grant functions.
    • Recognition of Funding Source: OSGC must be cited as a source of funding in all publications resulting from the student’s work using the phrase “…supported in part through NASA/Oregon Space Grant Consortium, grant NNX15AJ14H”.
    • Contact Information: The student agrees to notify OSGC of any changes in mailing address, email, and telephone number for contact purposes.
    • Information Release: The student grants permission to release and/or publish requested recipient information to NASA or other appropriate parties.


    Who can be a mentor? As an affiliate member of the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium (OSGC), faculty at your institution are eligible to serve as a MENTOR for the SCORE program to support community college students in engaging in a potentially life-changing research experience.

    What is the role of a mentor? As a participant of the program, you would be asked to provide ongoing guidance and resources to support successful completion of a term-long project. The duration of this commitment will vary and is dependent on the type of project and student engagement. This may include, but is not limited to:

    • Identifying a student and/or encouraging a student to apply.
    • Offering support in completion of the application process.
    • Identifying potential projects for students to explore (where applicable).
    • Assessing if it is realistic and feasible for the project to be completed in one term.
    • Providing guidance regarding experimental design, literature reviews, data collection, and other fundamental research elements; supporting student researcher in identifying resources in support of research elements.
    • Collaboration with your institution’s affiliate member and/or administration to identify resources and support materials for project.
    • Providing ongoing communication and encouragement during project duration.
    • Providing feedback and edits for student proposal and poster.
    • Attending student presentation at the SCORE Symposium, May 2020 (where appropriate).

    Is there assistance for mentors? OSGC will provide support and assistance for mentors to successfully complete their role as a SCORE mentor. Support is identified on a case-by-case basis, and may include but is not limited to:

    • Toolkits or online resources (i.e. webinars) outlining the basics of research and experimental/engineering design; help with identifying resources.
    • Identifying collaborators within the OSGC network to support specialized work or expertise needed to complete a given project.
    • Providing guidance on how to access supplies if it presents a barrier to success of the project.

    If you are interested in becoming a SCORE Mentor, please contact your institution’s affiliate representative listed under Eligible Institutions.


    Direct questions to Catherine Lanier, OSGC Associate Director, via email at or call 541-737-2414.



    I. NASA’s Vision
    To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity

    II. NASA’s Mission
    Lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and bring new knowledge and opportunities back to Earth. Support growth of the Nation’s economy in space and aeronautics, increase understanding of the universe and our place in it, work with industry to improve America’s aerospace technologies, and advance American leadership.

    III. Four strategic themes are the foundation for the 2018 Strategic Plan and NASA’s goals:
    DISCOVER – Expand human knowledge through new scientific discoveries
    EXPLORE – Extend human presence deeper into space and to the Moon for sustainable long-term exploration and utilization
    DEVELOP – Address national challenges and catalyze economic growth
    ENABLE – Optimize capabilities and operations

    NASA Strategic Plan 2018:

    IV: NASA’s vision and mission draw support from the organizational structure of the Mission Directorates, each with a specific responsibility.
    NASA’s Mission Directorates
    Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD): transforms aviation with research to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of flight, and improves aircraft and operations efficiency while maintaining safety in increasingly crowded skies. ARMD also generates innovative aviation concepts, tools, and technologies for development and maturation by the aviation community.

    Human Exploration and Operations (HEOMD): leads human exploration in and beyond low Earth orbit by developing new transportation systems and performing scientific research to enable sustained and affordable human life outside of Earth. HEOMD also manages space communication and navigation services for the Agency and its international partners.

    Science Mission Directorate (SMD): expands the frontiers of Earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, and astrophysics. Using robotic observatories, explorer craft, ground-based instruments, and a peer-reviewed portfolio of sponsored research, SMD seeks knowledge about our solar system, the farthest reaches of space and time, and our changing Earth.

    Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD): pursues transformational technologies that have high potential for offsetting future mission risk, reducing cost, and advancing existing capabilities. STMD uses merit-based competition to conduct research and technology development, demonstration, and infusion of these technologies into NASA’s missions and American industry. This mission directorate is being refocused as a new Exploration Research & Technology (ER&T) organization to support exploration as a primary customer.

    The Mission Support Directorate (MSD): enables the Agency’s missions by managing institutional services and capabilities. MSD is actively reducing institutional risk to NASA’s current and future missions by improving processes, stimulating efficiency, and providing consistency and uniformity across institutional standards and practices.




    2018-19 SCORE Recipients
    Jacob Brauer - PCC Sylvania Campus - Improve Behr Free-Fall Apparatus
    Emily Gemmill - PCC Sylvania Campus - The Physics of Fluids and Application to Traffic Flow and Patterns
    Izikaula Huntley - PCC Southeast Campus – Sustainable Food: Reducing the Energy Demands of Urban Vertical Hydroponic Systems
    Aurora Jimenez - PCC Southeast Campus - Landslide Investigation of Dog Mountain and Wind Mountain
    Bailee McMahon - Southwestern Oregon Community College - Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Relationships between Hard X-ray and Ultraviolet Emission in Solar Flares Observed with RHESSI and SDO
    Teresa Nguyen - PCCSoutheast Campus - Systems Engineering for PSAS/Base 11 Space Challenge
    Hayden Reinhold - PCC Sylvania Campus - Measuring Gravitational Acceleration with Digital Sensors
    Isabella Trifilo-Miley - Southwestern Oregon Community College - Effects of Solar Structure on Solar Flare X-ray Emissio
    Tellina Zavala - Linn-Benton Community College - Automated Garden Habitat Project

    2017-18 SCORE Recipients
    Marshall Andersen - Linn-Benton Community College - Polarized Light of the Sun's Corona
    Emma Frazier - Portland Community College Southeast Campus - A Search for Urban Micrometeorites in Portland
    Andrew Jozwiak - Portland Community College Sylvania Campus - The Modern Eddington Experiment
    Myka Kang-Lanz - Portland Community College Rock Creek Campus - Genome Re-annotation of Desulfurobacterium thermolithotrophum
    Matthew Lucas - Linn-Benton Community College - Stable, Inexpensive, and Recoverable Altitude Control Flight System for Latex High Altitude Balloon
    Caleb Marshbank - Portland Community College Sylvania Campus - Glacier Melt Rate Measurement
    Eleanor Paige Nicholson - Portland Community College Sylvania Campus - Glacier Melt Rate Measurement
    Ciara Russell - Southwestern Oregon Community College - Using Geochemistry to Suggest Mars Rover Improvements
    Audrey Vaughn - Linn-Benton Community College - Controlled Altitude Pressure Valve