Jan 29, 2011

NASA’s Internship Programs Offer High School Students a Chance to reach for the Stars

The DEVELOP program, part of NASA’s applied sciences training and development operation, offers high school students exciting opportunities to work with science advisors and partner agencies on down-to-earth projects in local communities throughout the U.S. With feet firmly planted on the ground, students research topics in areas ranging from agriculture to weather and make important contributions in support of NASA’s broad-ranging earth science mission.

Since 1999, the DEVELOP program has grown into a nationwide internship program with teams located at six NASA Centers and three local government organizations in Virginia, Maryland, Mississippi, California, Alabama, and Illinois. During the summer term, students work 30-35 hour per week for 10 weeks. Some internships are paid, while others are offered on a volunteer basis.

As part of a DEVELOP team, students conduct research in areas that examine how NASA technology can benefit partner organizations and construct projects that focus on practical applications of NASA’s research results. These projects often provide the basis for continued independent research and can easily evolve into national science competition entries. And it’s no secret that colleges are looking for students with proven interest or expertise in STEM-related fields.

High school students with a strong interest in environmental science, earth science, technology, computer science, environmental policy are invited to apply for one of the approximately 200 internships offered nationwide through DEVELOP. Thousands of students have already graduated from the program, and many discovered career paths along the way.

To qualify, students must be enrolled in high school, college or graduate school and must be at least 16 years of age. Students must also have a 3.0 GPA and submit an application that includes two letters of recommendation as well as an essay and academic transcript. For this year’s summer term, all applications must be postmarked by February 28, 2011.

Housing is not provided and students are responsible for living expenses. But for the student with interest in applied sciences who wants to get a head start on research, the cost may be worth it.

For more information on all the NASA programs for high school students or to download a DEVELOP application, visit NASA’s science education webpages.

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