What is a Space SIG Technical Project?

Space SIG technical projects are volunteer space-related R&D projects.  They are organized and led by members of the Professionals sector of the National Society of Black Engineers who volunteer their time for scientific and engineering pursuits.  These projects explore any of a number of aspects of spacecraft and related technologies.  Some projects are purely analytical in nature, while others may involve software or hardware development.  Space SIG projects are grouped within project families, some of which have multiple project teams.  The current Space SIG project families are:

Project Arusha

East Africa Spaceport Feasibility Study

Mars Desert Research Station

Visions for Human Space Flight


Technical Project Team Composition


Project Manager

The project manager serves a combination of engineering, leadership, and project management functions to guide the specific project.  There is one manager for each project.  Deputies are optional and up to each project.  The manager (and any deputies) serves as a Mentor for up to one undergraduate student each.


Project Engineers

Each project should have a minimum of four engineers, who perform analysis, CAD, fabrication, testing, or other engineering functions for the project.  The engineers also each serve as a mentor for up to one undergraduate student each.


JEDI Padawans

Jumpstart to Engineering Design and Invention (JEDI) is the outreach component of NSBE Space SIG that allows undergraduate students to serve as an apprentice or protégé to a Mentor (the Project Manager or Project Engineer of a technical project team).  A Padawan can be either local or remote, but there is a maximum of only one Padawan for each Mentor.  Padawans are provided career advice, assigned technical duties in support of the project, and are also responsible for initiating outreach activity to establish Enclaves or Initiate Clusters.


JEDI Enclave

A JEDI Enclave is a partnership between a Project SIG, a college or university, and that institution’s NSBE chapter.  That chapter must secure a research professor who will participate in his or her capacity with the university.  The partnership allows the university NSBE students and partnered professor to conduct research related to an agreed upon aspect of the project as official research of the university.  This may take the form of a special topics class, a NSBE chapter program, or any other mutually agreeable arrangement.  The Enclave is also responsible for conducting JEDI Youngling outreach.


JEDI Initiate Clusters

A JEDI Initiate Cluster is a NSBE Jr. age group of middle or high school students.  An Initiate Cluster may be formed within an existing NSBE Jr. chapter or may be formed from several NSBE Jr. chapters working together.  It should consist of at least five NSBE Jr. students.  (If there is no chapter they should form one.)  An Initiate Cluster will work with a JEDI Padawan or JEDI Enclave in support of an agreed upon aspect of the project and will also conduct JEDI Youngling outreach.


JEDI Youngling Outreach


JEDI Younglings are students in grades K-5.  JEDI Enclaves and Initiate Clusters are responsible for working with Project Teams to develop and conduct age-appropriate outreach activities based on the project and its technologies.  While Project Managers, Engineers and Padawans are encouraged to participate in Youngling outreach, the Enclave or Initiate Cluster is responsible for taking the lead in organizing the activity.  Youngling Outreach should be conducted as a feeder activity, with a threefold goal of (1) leveraging the project to excite youth about NSBE and the specific project technologies; (2) encouraging the you to consider STEM careers; and (3) attracting students to the Enclave or Initiate’s academic institution.