NASA launches interstellar internship with Broward College students
Central Bureau Chief
“NASA is an engine of innovation and inspiration as well as the world’s premier space exploration agency, and we are well served by politicians working to keep it that way, instead of turning it into a mere jobs program, or worse, cutting its budget,” said Bill Nye, American science communicator, television presenter, and mechanical engineer.
On Oct. 23, the Buehler Planetarium in BC Central opened its doors for students to take part in a breathtaking lecture about the opportunity of applying to different NASA internships. A partnership entitled “Partners across Pathways, Communication, Physical Science, and the U/C Library Department” commenced this incredible experience to generate an impactful educational program. In doing so, students are motivated to become involved in a NASA internship, more acquainted with research on space exploration, receive assistance in writing academic papers and discover a hidden passion with astronomy.
Before the event, Professors Emily Howard, Dr. Susan Barnett, and Associate Dean of Physical Science, Valerio Bartolucci, from the partnership, welcomed everyone to take their seats. As the event initiated, Bartolucci, asked the audience with a few rhetorical questions.
“Why are you here? What is your dream? You have a fantastic opportunity, and I’m very envious of you at your age. Because the desire to be up there in the moon still stays in my heart. But it’s a dream, and I won’t be able to go. For you and your generation, this might not be just a dream; it’s a possible reality, said Bartolucci.”
Professor Bartolucci then introduced the two BC students and NASA Internship Awardees Ayslinn “Blue” Cline and Matthew Tindell.
“You’re here so your colleagues can share their feelings and experiences of working with NASA. They need people; they need young people like you from every background. Whether it’s in communication, art, science, anything will help them to send people to the moon and mars. You decide, and they will show you the way if you apply,” said Bartolucci.
During the presentation, we heard Cline and Tindell discuss their adventures in these internships. Specifically, Cline spent several minutes reporting her experience at NCAS about Mars. With a PowerPoint presentation, she explained the history of human’s desire for Mars and what we’ve gained by using Mars Rovers. “We know that while life was beginning to evolve here, Mars was undergoing severe climate change as its atmosphere was thinning.”
At that point, Barnett ended the conference by presenting students with a preview of what the Planetarium promises to showcase. With the lights turned off and our minds turned on, the preview presentation featured thought-provoking commentary about constellations, lightyears and the Moon that intertwined with illuminating effects. With these effects, we’re able to gain a better perspective of what happens beyond our atmosphere.
After the presentation, Tindell discussed his hopes in the astronomical field and the future of NASA. At which point, he explained to me how the application process involving NCAS works.
“It’s easy as filling out the information online, but to apply, you need to meet certain requirements. Those include: -U.S. citizenship, high school diploma or equivalent, 18+ years of age, to be registered at a U.S. community college during the semester of the online workshop, enrollment in or completion of 9+ hours of STEM.”
Tindell also discussed his thoughts on current events involving NASA.
“NASA is currently undertaking an initiative to broaden their horizons. The Artemis Project is step 1 of their eventual plans to reach Mars. I think it’s very progressive and inspirational that the first American woman to stand on the moon will be there by 2024 along with the next American man, and I’m interested in where NASA is headed right now. Commercializing the industry to make space more available to everyone is a fantastic goal, and I’m on board with it,” Tindell.
On selected Wednesday nights, you can see a Planetarium show hosted by Dr. Barnett from 7-8 p.m. (Side note: The updated Planetarium hones a comfortable and lightly dimmed ambiance that shows the cosmos while playing joyful, stellar music in the background. This atmosphere provides a more intimate and engaging learning experience for all ages).