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Langham Creek HS student participates in prestigious NASA internship

Langham Creek High School junior Raj Sinha participated in the Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science internship.
Langham Creek High School junior Raj Sinha participated in the Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science summer internship hosted by the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Space Research. He and other students selected for the competitive program worked with NASA subject matter experts to conduct research.

By Cindy Ramos Parada, Langham Creek High School

Oct. 20, 2023—In the vast expanse of the galaxy and cosmos, there is a world of knowledge and possibilities waiting to be explored. For Langham Creek High School junior Raj Sinha, it’s a place to also realize dreams, achieving the incredible feat following a prestigious summer internship in the Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science Program (SEES).

SEES is a collaborative effort of The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Space Research and sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium. Students apply and are selected for the competitive internship, which is organized around an aerospace or space science theme drawn from NASA’s diverse engineering and scientific research programs. The program combines the strengths of collaborators to enrich teaching and learning of STEM.

When Sinha starts speaking about space, his voice resonates with a deep passion that instantly sets him apart.

“My journey into Earth Science stems from a deep-seated passion for understanding the world we live in,” Sinha said. “I recognized the importance of NASA’s involvement in earth systems monitoring, making it a fitting avenue for my interests.

“The SEES internship piqued my interest for several reasons. It promised the opportunity to engage in genuine research, which aligned with my passion for understanding the world around us. I saw this as an ideal platform to involve myself with the organization I aspire to work with in the future.”

Students worked remotely with a project scientist prior to the on-site internship and completed Earth and Space Science and Python Coding courses. They then spent two weeks working at the Center for Space Research, conducting hands-on activities and field investigations, collaborating with NASA-funded scientists and engineers, and working on various NASA missions.

“My team and I were responsible for designing and constructing a specialized payload to record atmospheric metrics on a high-altitude balloon,” Sinha said. “The primary objective of our project is to investigate how these metrics change during this recent solar eclipse in October and the upcoming one in April.”

Sinha credits James Welsh, Langham Creek computer science teacher, for encouraging him to pursue his interest in science and space exploration. His quest for practical knowledge, for delving into the core of scientific exploration, is not merely a transient goal but rather a steppingstone towards his broader vision.

“During my internship, I aspired to gain hands-on experience in conducting research and working with real-world data,” Sinha said. “The knowledge, skills, and opportunities I acquired during this internship were instrumental in helping achieve a career in scientific research.”