Langley Technicians Pass SpaceTec Exam
(From left): Stewart Harris, Assoc. Director for Fabrication, NASA LaRC; James High, Certified SpaceTEC Aerospace Technician; Ralph Stephens, Certified SpaceTEC Aerospace Technician; Charles Taylor, President of TNCC; and Pat Taylor, Co-Principal Investigator for SpaceTEC TNNC and Dean of Mathematics, Engineering, and Technologies, TNCC, at the SpaceTEC recognition ceremony held at Thomas Nelson Community College, Hampton, Virginia. (Not pictured, Mr. Luke Catella, Certified SpaceTEC Aerospace Technician). Photo courtesy of Nancy Halloway. Congratulations to NASA technicians Luke Catella, James High and Ralph Stephens for being the first locally to pass the rigorous SpaceTEC exam and receive national certification as aerospace technicians.

Image Right: (From left): Stewart Harris, James High, Ralph Stephens, Charles Taylor and Pat Taylor at the SpaceTEC recognition ceremony held at Thomas Nelson Community College, Hampton, Va. (Not pictured: Luke Catella). Photo courtesy of Nancy Halloway.

SpaceTEC is an organization that formalizes aerospace technician education, and certification using a nationally recognized skills-based standards program. The SpaceTEC organization is a consortium consisting of members from the aerospace industry, the Air Force, the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, Emory Riddle Aeronautical University, and over 12 community colleges throughout the United States. A certified SpaceTEC technician has more than a strong background in one area of expertise, but has a diverse, core technical background, and is able to best leverage his/her skills and talents to suite the needs of the project.

Seven technicians participated in the SpaceTEC baseline certification exam offered through Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC). Of the seven, Catella, formerly of the Aerospace Composite Models Development Branch, recently relocated to Kennedy Space Center, Florida; High and Stephens, both of the Technology Development and Integration Branch, successfully passed all components of the rigorous exam. The exam consists of a written (i.e. on-line) component, and an oral/practical component.

The written component covers six core technical areas including: introduction to aerospace, aerospace safety, applied mechanics, basic electricity, materials and processes, as well as tests and measurements. A technician must receive a score of at least 70% or higher to pass, and is then eligible to take the second part of the exam (i.e. oral/practical). The oral/practical component covers the same core technical areas with the exception of introduction to aerospace. A technician must show proficiency in answering technical questions, as well as demonstrate applied knowledge, and hands-on skills in order to pass this portion of the exam. Additionally, the oral/practical portion of the exam is administered by a certified SpaceTEC examiner, and as with the written component, a technician must score a 70% or higher to pass this exam.

TNCC recently hosted a recognition ceremony honoring the nationally certified SpaceTEC technicians from NASA Langley. During the ceremony, speakers including Charles Taylor, President of TNCC; Patricia Taylor, Co-Principal Investigator of SpaceTEC and Dean of Mathematics, Engineering, and Technologies, TNCC; and Stewart Harris, Associate Director for Fabrication, Langley Research Center, shared remarks supporting the program, and spoke of the benefits nationally certified SpaceTEC technicians offer to the high tech community.

For more information on the SpaceTEC program please visit: www.spacetec.org. Information on SpaceTEC certification can be found at: spacetec.certification.net/CertExams/Catalog/Catalog.aspx.

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