Adrian Garza, a senior at McAllen ISD’s Lamar Academy, was one of just 30 students nationwide to be selected for the prestigious Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES) Summer Internship held at the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Space Research.
Students worked with scientists and engineers to conduct authentic research from data received from NASA’s Earth observing satellites. This nationally competitive program, sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium, selects students who will increase their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through space education.
Garza is in McAllen ISD’s International Baccalaureate Programme – one of two academic frameworks available to McAllen ISD students. The other is STEAM-Plus (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math plus an emphasis on emotional intelligence).
SEES is a collaborative effort of Texas Space Grant Consortium members and affiliates, NASA and the University of Texas at Austin. The internships are organized around an aerospace of space science theme drawn from NASA’s diverse engineering and scientific research programs. The program combines the strengths of collaborators to enrich teaching and learning of STEM.
Prior to coming to UT, students worked remotely with their project scientist for more than 60 hours, gaining knowledge of earth system science and NASA’s role in studying the planet.
During the two weeks the students were on campus, they worked with scientists on their assigned project, designed a mission to Mars through an activity called Mars Bound, conducted field investigations and conducted tests in a wind tunnel to determine terminal velocity. Their research centered on climate and engineering studies with data gained from NASA’s fleet of observing satellites.
Garza also went on a trip to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston where he and other students in the program interacted with NASA scientists and engineers.
The SEES internship proves that the excitement students feel about space science is a critical step in enriching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The internship provided students with a rare opportunity to spend two weeks working with professional scientists and engineers at the cutting edge of space exploration. Each student shared their research and reflections during final oral