Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

Student’s currently in grades Kinder to 6th at any of the 12 AUSD schools.

How will I be notified if my child is accepted?

Due to the high number of applications and locations in which we are offering our programs we cannot make individual phone calls. Our main form of communication is done through a program called Remind or via email. We highly encourage parents to sign up for remind notifications.

What is the cost of these programs?

These programs are free to attend. There is no cost for families. The AUSD is excited to fund and support these unique opportunities to the students from the district.

How can I get a t-shirt for my child?

We believe in rewarding our students who show commitment and dedication. Every student that attends all 8 sessions (NASA MUREP Academy) or 6 sessions (Intro to Coding Academy) will receive a perfect attendance t-shirt. These t-shirts must be earned and cannot be obtained via any other way.

How long are these programs?

The NASA MAA STEM Academy runs for 8 weeks on Saturdays. 

The Introduction to Coderdojo Academy runs for 6 weeks on Saturdays.

How will I know when the program is coming to my child's school?

In preparation for the academies we place a banner on the outside of the school. When you see the banner it means we are getting ready to start or we may already be in session. You can also check our website at for information.

What will my child be learning in the NASA MUREP Academy?

Living in Space (K-4)

Through participation in various activities involving math and science, students are introduced to the importance of teamwork in learning how the astronauts live and work in space. Part of the curriculum has the students learning about the different planets and other objects in our solar system. They will learn and do experiments that will help them distinguish between Earth and other said objects. Using their findings they will make hypothesis and then conduct experiments about what it would take to be able to live in other planets and other space objects. Each grade has activities and experiments based on their overall knowledge and skills. A kindergarten student may have the same overall activity of describing the planets as a 4th grader, but a description given by a 4th grader will have more details and more depth than that of a kindergartener.

Exploring the Solar System (5-6)

Students explore astronomy and tour the solar system through various activities and projects. There are multiple sessions during the school year and students are grouped by grade with each grade doing different activities. The 5th and 6th graders will take a much closer look at what makes the moon and Mars much more different than earth. They will become familiar enough with the characteristics and composition of the Moon and Mars that they will be able to describe it in so much detail that given time they would be able to recreate the feel and look of them.

What are these programs?

MAA (MUREP Aerospace Academy) is an innovative, national project designed to increase the participation and retention of historically underserved and underrepresented youth in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Students will learn about STEM through fun and exciting hands-on activities with our NASA designed curriculum. This program is 8 weeks long and is offered on Saturdays at your student’s school site. Hartnell NASA MAA is one of only nine sites in the Nation!

Hartnell College’s Introduction to Coderdojo is a fun program that will allow students to gain interest in computer coding and lose the fear towards technology. It helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century. We hope this program inspires students to increase their interest in coding by participating in more than one session and eventually sign up for our more focused Coder Dojo Hartnell College program at the Alisal campus of Hartnell College. Our programs have allowed students to understand the basic concepts of computer programing and open their minds in to Computer Science. We like to think that we are the pathway in to Coder Dojo and later into CSin3 and beyond! Our Intro to Coderdojo program combines computer time with hands-on activities that are fun and entertaining and will allow students to absorb concepts that otherwise they would consider too hard or advanced.

How can my child participate?

Before the start of the session we will send out an application with every student from the school that we will be attending. We recommend you check your child’s backpack for the application. Extra applications will be at the front office of your child’s school. Applications can also be found on our website at Applications are accepted on a first-come first-serve, please submit your completed applications as soon as possible!

I would like to make a donation, how can I do that?

Donations can be made via cash (in a closed envelope with student’s name given to one of our coordinators or director) or by check. Checks should be made out to Hartnell College Foundation/K12 STEM Programs. They can also be mailed to:

K12 STEM Programs

Hartnell College – Alisal Campus

1752 E. Alisal St. Salinas, CA 93905