NASA Space Grant/A Bridge to the Stars Pipeline Program at UMKC


(Jan. 16, 2018) A record 16 high-school students are enrolled in a freshman astronomy course at UMKC with Prof. McIntosh!
Look for an open pre-application period for Spring 2019 in early Fall 2018!

Watch this short video to learn more about this unique opportunity now!

What is the goal of this program in a nutshell?
"Through this program, we're providing students with high impact exposure to science through innovative experiential learning with a professional scientist. It's a bridge between high school and college, and it fosters student success." (Prof. McIntosh)

What are the benefits?
    1) Free tuition and enrollment fees. Free required course material. A free Metro bus pass for entire semester. Earn transferrable UMKC credit for a freshman course that meets standard, general education science requirements nationwide. This credit and experience looks good on college and university applications.
    2) Learn about space in a fun, interactive, inclusive and student-centered course designed to help every student gain a strong conceptual understanding of how nature and the physical universe work. Prof. McIntosh's introductory astronomy courses offer an exciting way to explore the cosmos, to learn about science, and to see how advances in technology & engineering continue to expand our knowledge. This is very helpful for all students, but particularly those who are thinking about pursuing degrees in STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math).
    3) Weekly mentoring sessions at UMKC with near-peer mentors dedicated to helping Bridge students succeed in this course, specifically, and at college, in general.
    4) Regular round-table discussions with Prof. McIntosh and your fellow Bridge students to talk about any subject related to space, astronomy and how to pursue a STEM degree/career.

Spring 2018 Course Description
    ASTR 150 Astronomy: Motions of the Cosmos - Tu,W,Th 4:00-5:30pm
        Students learn how and why everything in the univse is moving; we learn about gravity, the birth of planets, black holes and other stellar corpses, exoplanets, dark matter, the expansion of of the universe and more. Students gain a strong conceptual understanding of physical laws of nature, and develop important skills and experience (technical communication, team work, quantitative problem-solving).

Who is Prof. McIntosh?
Dr. McIntosh is a distinguished educator (2017-2019 Norman Royall Endowed Professorship, 2016 UM System President's Award) and professional astrophysicist. He joined the UMKC Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2008. Prof. McIntosh is a science educator with a passion for bringing a conceptual understanding of the physical universe to all students. "Because my classes are very active, meaning there are many opportunities to discuss ideas with peers, students gain an excellent understanding of scientific concepts and they really have fun learning!" Dr. McIntosh is also an expert on how galaxies like our Milky Way have changed and grown during cosmic history. Much of his scientific work over the last 16 years has involved using the Hubble Space Telescope (read more) to study the development of galaxies.

Our Mission and Community Partnerships
A Bridge to the Stars is committed to actively engaging students from all backgrounds in enriching and impactful experiences related to astronomy, the physical sciences, and STEM.

UMKC Partners: HSCP, School of Education, Honors College
Educational Partners: Kansas City Public Schools, KC Scholars, PREP-KC, Science Pioneers
High School Partners: Blue Springs, East, Frontier School of Excellence, Grandview, Hogan Preparatory Academy, Lee Summit West, Lincoln Prep, University Academy

In the News
Sep. 28, 2017 featured in UMKC Today (story)
Sep. 15, 2016 featured in UMKC Today (story)

For questions, send an email to: (
Made possible through funding by the NASA Missouri Space Grant.

"A great program taught by a very inspired professor!" (Dr. Larry Weible, East High School Science Dept. Chair)

"Students and parents need to realize this is a GREAT opportunity." (Ms. Crystal Ward, former Hogan Prep High School Principal)