Updated: Oct 5, 2019
Ever looked at the stars and wonder what’s it like to be in space? Or, how do people get to be part of a program that deals with space travel?
Nine PCCC STEM students have been selected for a ten-week internship with NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, at the Goddard Space Flight Center, located in Maryland, for the summer of 2019.
The students, who were accepted to the internship, were ecstatic to be involved with such a program such as NASA. With an acceptance rate of 4% and limited spaces, having nine students represent Passaic County Community College was a huge milestone for the STEM program.
Daniel Mirman, an engineering major and George Peralta were some of the lucky few to get accepted to the internship.
“First off! I was extremely proud of myself for being able to accomplish something like that, because that program has a 4% acceptance rate, so getting selected out of such a large group of people was a really big accomplishment personally...but I was honored to represent this school, because it’s a big step for our school to be able to send students to a program like that, so it was, I would say an accomplishment for myself and was honored to represent Passaic County Community College,” said Mirman.
The nine students arrived at the Goddard Space Flight Center on June 3 and left on August 10. During those ten weeks, many of the students learned from mentors through workshops, classes and hands-on activities.
“...When we got there, I had to learn a lot about computer science and I’m not a computer science major, I’m an engineering major, so I was doing ten hours a day for the first two weeks, computer science crash courses and I packed my head on knowledge, on whatever it was, coding, python...they also had workshops like pretty much every week or every other week, that were interesting, that me and some other people attended to, which is about satellite serving missions, how they create the hubble, how they service the hubble, new project they had going on and my second project that I did was to test reaction wheels on space crafts…” said Mirman.
“...They had a more modernized process, where they ask you to enter key words about yourself. Aside from that, you also have to submit a resume, an essay. It was 500 words about why you wanted to work in NASA and get transcripts and one or more letters of recommendation,” said Mirman
Peralta, on the other hand, expressed how he learned more about teamwork at NASA.
“Almost every exercise that they did had a group exercise, while here (PCCC) a lot of classes are either group project, which is one to two people, or solo assignments and that’s really a big difference, because almost every job out there is a group assignment,” said Peralta.
The application process for applying for an internship at NASA, is very different from applying to colleges.
NASA began their long journey as one of the most well known programs in the United States, in the 1940’s, but the actual space age, started in 1957 with the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik. From then on, the space program grew, expanding research facilities in different countries, such as Canada and Japan.
NASA, employs over 17,000 people and opportunities in internships and jobs are always there.