August 17, 2020
Cypress Ranch High School senior Vedaant Kaura was selected for two prestigious STEM summer internships, the Texas High School Aerospace Scholars Program and the Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science Program.
Aug. 17, 2020—Cypress Ranch High School senior Vedaant Kaura, was selected for two prestigious STEM summer internships, the Texas High School Aerospace Scholars Program (HAS) and the Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science Program (SEES).
HAS is a 16-week internship that invites Texas high school juniors to work closely with NASA to explore STEM-related majors and careers. Kaura participated in HAS from November 2019–February 2020 and was tasked with different projects, including simulated missions to the moon and finding solutions to problems on the International Space Station (ISS). Through the projects, Kaura and his team designed a tool to be used on the ISS that is currently being developed by NASA.
“Having a tool being developed by NASA feels amazing,” said Kaura, who wants to major in aerospace and electrical engineering after high school. “I am very proud of myself that I could display my creativity to such an esteemed organization. This opportunity motivates me to do even greater things in my future career that will better humanity.”
After completing the program, Kaura wanted to find additional opportunities and applied to SEES, which is a nationally competitive nine-week summer internship hosted by the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Space Research and sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium. Through the program, students devote 10-15 hours a week looking at NASA data, developing and implementing a research design and collaborating with NASA experts on different projects. Kaura worked on mosquito mapping.
“We worked on predicting where mosquitos would be in the future,” Kaura said. “I built mosquito traps out of things I found around the house, but my traps didn’t catch anything, so I wanted to focus on why that was. Could it be because my traps were built wrong? Because of COVID-19 and people not being out as much? Maybe the air is different because of lower admission levels? Even though my internship is completed, my research is still ongoing.”
The 2020 SEES internship was all virtual due to COVID-19, but Kaura was still able to attend virtual guest speaker conferences that gave insight into majors and careers related to earth and space science.
“Even though both HAS and SEES were rigorous internships, I had a blast in both because I was in my element,” Kaura said. “I encourage students who are interested in STEM to pursue these internships because you learn so much and you’re connected with top-notch professionals.”