To the chef
Darian Hardin, a student at West Orange-Stark High School has been selected for the prestigious STEM Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES) summer internship to be held at the University of Texas at the Austin Space Research Center. 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 Martian habitats, moon 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 education about Earth and space.
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 candidates were received for the coveted internship position and 300 were selected this year. Due to the pandemic, the student internship will be fully virtual in 2021. Students complete 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 surveys and attend presentations by NASA subject matter experts.
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 changing at all spatial and temporal scales. The goal of NASA’s Earth Sciences program is 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 natural hazards.
The SEES internship proves that the enthusiasm that students feel for space science is an essential 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.