Two Houghton students win NASA internship

Micaela Geborkoff and Logan Sandell of Houghton High School have both been selected to be part of NASA’s prestigious STEM Enhancement and Space Science summer internship program. SEES studies the Earth’s atmosphere and its nearest neighboring planets. Normally, students stay at the University of Texas while working at NASA’s Austin Center, but due to the pandemic, this year’s program will only be virtual.

It is necessary that students complete a learning module in advance, and depending on the project they are participating in, they may also need to demonstrate basic coding skills, namely PYTHON.

SEES was launched in 2010 originally as a Texas student-only opportunity. Now in its 6th year of accepting nominations nationwide, more than 750 have been received. The full version is below.


Micaela Geborkoff and Logan Sandell, both junior students at Houghton High School, have been selected for the prestigious STEM Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES) summer internship to be held at the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Space Research.

Students will work with scientists and engineers to conduct authentic research using data received from NASA’s Earth observation satellites, as well as to design habitats on Mars, lunar exploration, and robotics. This nationally competitive program sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium selects students who will increase their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through Earth and space education. SEES is a collaborative effort of members and affiliates of the Texas Space Grant Consortium, NASA, and the University of Texas at Austin. Students apply for SEES and are selected by competitive examination. The internships are organized around an aerospace or space science theme drawn from the various engineering and scientific research programs of NASA. The program combines the strengths of collaborators to enrich STEM teaching and learning.

Almost 750 applications were received for the coveted internship positions and 300 were selected this year. Due to the pandemic, the student internship will be fully virtual in 2021. Students will conduct 60 to 90 hours of NASA Earth and Space Science research and Python coding to prepare them for the program. During the internship, students conduct hands-on activities and field investigations and attend presentations from NASA subject matter experts.

The Earth is a complex and dynamic system that we do not yet fully understand. The earth system, like the human body, is made up of various components that interact in complex ways. We strive to understand the Earth’s atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere as one connected system. Our planet is evolving at all spatial and temporal scales. NASA’s Earth Sciences Program aims to develop a scientific understanding of the Earth system and its response to natural and human-induced changes, and to improve prediction of climate, weather, and hazards. natural.

The SEES internship proves that the enthusiasm that students feel for space science is a crucial step in enriching science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The internship will provide students with the rare – and for the most part, unique – opportunity to work alongside professional scientists and engineers at the forefront of space exploration. SEES is funded by the NASA Cooperation Agreement NNH15ZDA004C and is part of the NASA Science Activation Program. For more information, visit:

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