NASA high school internship: Things you need to know about
Are you a high school student and dreaming to work for NASA? A NASA high school internship can help you achieve that.
Students dream of working with NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, to achieve hands-on experience and real success. Almost 2,000 students from all backgrounds across the United States get a chance to be an intern at NASA each year. A NASA high school internship is one of the best ways how you can start an exciting career. It is also a worthy aspiration in case you are interested in science and technology. The internship programs leverage NASA’s missions to give an overall boost to the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workforce of the country.
What is a NASA high school internship program?
These competitive internships support educational opportunities for students and helps high school students gain exposure to NASA-related research and operations. The internship program integrates students with professionals emphasizing mentor-directed and degree-related tasks that contribute to NASA’s operation and mission advancements. Volunteer scientists, engineers, and researchers who are experts in their respective fields work as mentors and guide them in research and experiential learning. Besides this, NASA also has fellowship programs for undergraduate and graduate students.
There is also the NASA SEES Internship which you can apply for here. This program has both in person and virtual options but the program overall is unpaid. The program provides selected students with exposure to Earth and space research. Interns will learn how to interpret NASA satellite data while working with scientists and engineers in their chosen area of work.
Applying for NASA high school internship programs
NASA Office of the STEM engagement has a regular NASA internship program that you can apply for here. There are several paid internships opportunities available. These allow high school and college-level students to contribute to various NASA projects under the guidance of a mentor. NASA also has a Pathways Intern program. Both the Pathways program and their regular NASA internship offers paid internships to students who are 16+. It is a pipeline for full-time employment in NASA. Their high school internships are only for high school students who live in certain states, however. Specifically, these internships are usually only offered to students living in Maryland, Virginia, New York, and West Virginia. The programs are paid.
You can read more about the Pathways program eligibility here.
But in general, the applicants for these two programs must meet the following requirements:
- They must be US citizens
- They must be a full-time student
- They must score a minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
- The minimum age requirement for application is 16 years.
Tips for applying to the NASA high school internship programs
- Upload school transcript
- List all your previous experiences, if any
- All projects you have contributed to at school or in your extracurricular activities and show how they helped to grow in your major.
- List your role and accomplishments in each project.
- Include if you have received any or membership in clubs and societies.
- Include a list of keywords related to your skill in the application
- Be specific about the software program you enjoy working in, the software you frequently use, and the coding languages you know.
- Mention if you are a confident public speaker
- Include if you have any previous NASA experience of any kind and make sure to include that in your resume.
- Additionally share why you want to join the NASA internship
- Use proper grammar throughout the application
The above helps to showcase your personality and professionalism. Mentors also use this information to find the skills they need for advancing their projects.
You can log in and check the status on your dashboard after applying. If you are selected for an internship, you will get an email from the Internships team with the next steps. These NASA high school internship programs are available at NASA facilities in fall, spring, and summer sessions.
NASA high school internship sessions (when they occur)
NASA offers internships in three sessions; Fall, spring, and summer. However, NASA high school internship is mostly limited to the summer session. The fall session starts in late August/ early September and ends in mid-December. It has a duration of 16 weeks. Its application deadline is in early July. The spring session starts in mid-January and ends in early May. The duration of the spring session is also 16 weeks. The application deadline for the spring session is early November. Contrary to these two, the summer season has a duration of 10 weeks. It starts in late May/early June and ends in August. The application deadline for the summer season is in early March. Remember, NASA has a constant influx of interns and rotates them through three sessions. As such, it is better to apply 3 to 4 months in advance.
Types of projects available
The types of projects available vary at every center in each season. You can view the projects for specific sessions after applying. It is possible to filter projects to locate projects that meet location needs and skill sets.
Accommodation while interning
NASA does not provide housing. Interns have to make their housing arrangements during NASA high school internship programs and also pay for that. However, NASA provides sufficient time and options for this. Interns have opportunities to work at one of the NASA centers in the United States. Many of these centers provide online forums where students can connect with others to find affordable housing options. One should always try to find housing within walking distance from the centers. Else, you need a car. Many NASA centers also have ample public transportation.
Advantages of NASA internship
NASA high school internship programs entail the following benefits:
- Develop the professional within you
- Helps to explore various career options and goals
- Teach new skills for workplace application
- Enhance the resume and career
- It gives opportunities to observe how businesses work
- Allows participating in professional tasks and responsibilities
- Gaining first-hand knowledge of workplace culture, politics, and etiquette.
- Discover a new career
- Creating a difference in the organization
- Helps to gain new experience and prepare for the job market
- Often lead to permanent employment
How hard it is to get a NASA internship
Do not get discouraged if your first internship application is not accepted. You must prepare hard and apply for multiple semesters. Never forget to update with the application new experiences, projects, and transcripts.
NASA high school internship programs are conducive to developing new skills. These further add to the resume open up career options, help to explore the workplace environment, and the students also take part in professional tasks and responsibilities. NASA also offers internships for a wide variety of majors like business, human resources, journalism, etc. Start your NASA journey and have good luck!
You can find my list of high school software engineer internships here.
You can find my list of high school IT internships here.