Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, February 1, 2017

South Dakota Space Grant Awards $176,000 in NASA Funding to SD Mines and Five South Dakota Institutions

SD Mines students Zachary Christy and Mark Buttenhoff at work in the lab on an SDSGC project that will capture data on the 2017 solar eclipse.

RAPID CITY (Feb. 01, 2017) – The South Dakota Space Grant Consortium (SDSGC) has provided nine awards totaling approximately $176,000 in NASA funding to SD Mines and five affiliate members of the Consortium.

The Space Grant Consortium, headquartered at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, is a statewide network of 20 member organizations from education, industry and government. As the link between NASA and the citizens of South Dakota, the Consortium’s mission is to instill the spirit of exploration and discovery in students, educators and the general public, with a special focus on the fields of science, technology, engineering and math that are essential for the development of the nation’s workforce.

One grant of $17,100 was awarded directly to a Mines student, Kari Pulli, a junior in mechanical engineering, as a scholarship for a project titled Student CO-OP for Aerospace and High-Altitude Technology Development.”  Pulli was selected by officials at Raven-Aerostar for an eight-month student internship at its Sioux Falls facility. This is on top of a previously announced SDSGC grant of $25,000 to SD Mines for a project titled: “Computational Astronomy for Teachers and Their Students.

In total, nine winning projects were competitively selected from among 15 proposals submitted under the SDSGC’s FY2016 Project Innovation Grant (PIG) program in the areas of higher, precollege, and informal education. The objective of the PIG program is to provide seed funding for meritorious projects that align with NASA goals, and which show potential to develop into long-term, sustainable programs. Other winning awards are listed below:

  • Augustana University in Sioux Falls received a total of $25,000 for two projects titled: “Hands-On Observational Astronomy Laboratories at Augustana University” ($13,100) and “Measurement of Atmospheric Trace Gases Using Cavity Enhanced Spectroscopy” ($11,900).
  • Black Hills State University in Spearfish and Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead received $48,550 for their joint project titled: “Flight to Totality: The SDSGC 2017 Solar Eclipse Balloon Project.”
  • Raven-Aerostar in Sioux Falls received 5,000 for one project titled: “Raven Aerostar Balloon Day 2017.”  Raven also received benefit of the $17,100 award listed above to SD Mines student Kari Pulli for her internship at Raven-Aerostar.
  • South Dakota Air & Space Museum in Box Elder received $4,000 for a project titled: “Establishment of Titan I Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Exhibits and Educational Programs at the SD Air & Space Museum.” 
  • South Dakota State University received a total of $51,274 for two projects titled: “3D Printable Heat Exchangers to Enhance Student Learning Related to Space Science” ($40,274) and “South Dakota Aviation Mobile Lab” ($11,000). 


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,654 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $61,300. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Tom Durkin, (605) 394-1975, Thomas.Durkin@sdsmt.edu

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