Living the Dream: Becoming a NASA SEES High School Intern (Part 3)

Author’s Note: This is a series of three posts.

Part 3

Monday, July 24

I loved everything I did within these two weeks, but nothing could compare to this. The Johnson Space Center. Gosh, I haven’t been here since a child, and I saw things that I’d never imagine I would see–like top-notch stuff!

We started off the tour by visiting the Mission Control Center. There’s actually a Historic Mission Control Center and the current Mission Control Center. The Historic Mission Control Center was used during the Apollo missions, and the consoles were greatly less advanced than one smartphone today. It’s crazy to think that that sort of technology had the power to get men to the moon. Unfortunately, the Historic Mission Control Center was being renovated or else we would have been able to go in there and look at it all close-up, but it was still really cool to see in person.

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Living the Dream: Becoming a NASA SEES High School Intern (Part 2)

Author’s Note: This is a series of three posts.

Part 2

Wednesday, July 19

Dr. Hum Mandell gave us his presentation Explore Mars on Wednesday, discussing the Space Race, history leading up to Mars exploration (specifically the geopolitical reasons as to why), and future implications regarding going to Mars. He used to be a part of the Mars/Moon Exploration Program and his inspiration transpired from von Braun, a scientist who built rockets for the Germans. I thought it was really cool how Dr. Mandell had not only watched von Braun’s rockets launch but sat right next to him during the Apollo landing because of his luck in the lottery.

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Afterwards, we got into teams to do the Heavy Lifting Activity consisting of building a rocket design that would send a payload (i.e. small cup with 50 paper clips) into the ceiling along a string (attached to the floor and ceiling).

We modified our design multiple times, but it never did quite reach the ceiling. I guarantee that if we had more time, we probably would’ve figured it out. I guess the best part about it was epically failing because it made us think about what could’ve went wrong.

I think it’s more fun that way too.

Continue reading “Living the Dream: Becoming a NASA SEES High School Intern (Part 2)”

Living the Dream: Becoming a NASA SEES High School Intern (Part 1)

Author’s Note: This is a series of three posts.

Part 1

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It was exactly two years ago. I was looking for STEM high school internships, and somehow I came across one: the SEES High School Internship, a program in partnership with NASA, Texas Space Grant Consortium, and The University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was this real? To be frank, I didn’t know how to process this newfound discovery. High school internships were unfathomable, but a NASA internship for high schoolers (that is completely paid for)? That was nonexistent! However, I suppose I should amend that statement by instead declaring near impossible because they do exist–they’re just hard to find.

I’m not going to lie. I researched this program extensively years before I was at the required age to apply. Yes, I admit it: I am a planner to the fullest. I read articles about the amazing grant that Ms. Baguio received for the SEES internship program. Had it not been for that money to convert a local program (only Austin residents) into a national one, I might not have been able to apply.

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Volunteering at Houston Methodist Hospital

In middle school, I decided to complete my Girl Scout Silver Award by making hats and booties for the newborns at Houston Methodist Hospital. It was absolutely amazing. My project advisor helped me come up with the patterns, and I taught classmates at my school how to crochet them. In the end, over 200 hats and booties were made, and it gave me the best feeling in the whole wide world. I understood how much this meant to the hospital and all the new parents, especially when the baby was too small to fit the normal size ones at the stores. However, it’s even more significant when that newborn doesn’t make it, as these crocheted items show how much we care for them and their loss.

Ever since I finished my Silver Award, I wanted to continue my services at the hospital. I continued to deliver hats and booties whenever I had the time to make them during the school year and summer, but I wanted to do more. Fortunately, this year, I was old enough to apply for the Houston Methodist Hospital’s Junior Volunteer program.

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Taking Summer College Courses as a High Schooler

This summer, I took my first community college course! At first, I didn’t think I would have the time to do this along with all my other summer activities and it seemed kind of intimidating, but I’m extremely thankful that I did. I will be reflecting my experience on it, giving some advice on taking community college courses during the summer, and explaining why it’s so beneficial (especially while still in high school).

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2017 HOBY Leadership Seminar Reflections

The Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) is a nonprofit organization founded by Hugh O’Brian, inspiring youth leaders to continue leadership and innovation. HOBY has a multitude of amazing annual programs geared towards serving local and international students that are selected by their schools to participate.

This year, I became a HOBY Ambassador along with one other student to represent my high school! I submitted an essay to my counselor explaining who I was, why I wanted to be in the program, and what I would gain from it.

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My Past 3 Summers at Houston PREP

Houston PREP is an intensive 6 week program at the University of Houston for high schoolers interested in STEM fields. It is an ongoing program that participants can continue to go to for 4 years and learn from college professors. I started attending this program at the end of 7th grade.

You’re probably wondering why the heck I would spend my whole summer with even more school related work. I mean why not take long walks on the beach or binge-watch?

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