Sanjana Surana — a rising high school senior from Kendall’s Archimedean Upper Conservatory, a nationally-ranked, 2018 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence — has been selected for the prestigious Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES) internship to be held this summer at the University of Texas-Austin’s Center for Space Research.
Surana will work alongside scientists and engineers to conduct authentic research using data received from NASA’s Earth observing satellites while helping design Mars habitats, plan lunar explorations, and analyze images from the International Space Station.
This nationally competitive program, sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium, is offered to a select number of highly qualified students nationwide who, by participating, get to increase their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through Earth and Space education.
SEES is a collaborative effort of Texas Space Grant Consortium members and affiliates, NASA, and the University of Texas-Austin. Almost 600 applications were received for the coveted 50 internship positions, which are organized around an aerospace or space science theme drawn from NASA’s diverse engineering and scientific research programs. This highly selective program combines the strengths of collaborators to enrich teaching and learning of STEM.
Through the summer, students like Surana will work remotely with their project scientist prior to their on-site internships after which they will spend two weeks in July working on various NASA missions in Austin at the University of Texas’ Center for Space Research, being additionally immersed in hands-on research and learning activities, field investigations, facility tours, networking opportunities, and presentations by NASA scientists and engineers.
The Earth system, like the human body, is comprised of diverse components that interact in complex ways. Scientists and researchers are striving to understand the Earth’s atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere as a single connected system, the planet changing on all spatial and temporal scales. The purpose of NASA’s Earth science program is to develop a scientific understanding of Earth’s system and its response to natural or human-induced changes, and to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards.
The SEES internship will provide students with a rare and unique opportunity to spend their summer working with professionals at the cutting edge of space exploration while being mentored by NASA scientists and engineers at The University of Texas-Austin.