BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A partnership between NASA and several HBCUs in the region seeks to increase diversity in the geosciences by offering paid internships with hands-on research experiences.
It’s called Student Airborne Science Activation, or SaSa. This is an eight-week paid internship that will allow 25 students from the six partner HBCUs to work with and learn from NASA experts.
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“It’s really cool to be around like-minded people, people who share the same passions, people who have huge influences on the world at large, so it’s going to be a great experience” said Daniel Harrison of Morgan State University. junior who is in the program.
Over the eight weeks, participants will spend time at each partner school performing “observations, calculations, data collection, launching of airborne devices, aeronautical equipment and related aircraft”. They will even have the opportunity to fly with NASA planes to carry out specific research.
On Wednesday, students and scientists launched a weather balloon from the Morgan State football field.
Angelica Stewart, a sophomore at Howard University, is one of 25 students selected to participate.
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“I hope to connect with different people, I hope to be 100% smarter, I want the neurons in my brain to grow,” Stewart said.
The goal of the program is to increase the representation of minorities in ocean, atmospheric and earth sciences.
“I’m a woman in STEM, I’m a black woman in STEM, it’s like a double minority in STEM and this program supports that 100%,” Stewart said.
Over the past 40 years, minority representation in the geosciences has remained relatively low, NASA said.
“It’s a way for us to increase that population area in that workforce,” said Dr. Richard Damoah, Principal Investigator of Morgan’s SaSa team and associate researcher in the Chemistry and Dynamics Branch. atmospheric data from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center;
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They hope to achieve this by providing advice, guidance and motivation to pursue a career in STEM.