Frequently Asked Questions

SEES Summer High School Intern Program

 

BASIC INFO

Q: When is it?

A: The 2023 SEES internship will:

May 1 – June 25 Online coursework
June 25 – July 7 Remote project work guided by mentors
July 8 – 22 On-site residential program
June 25 – July 22 Virtual projects (unless otherwise noted in the project description)
July 24 – 26 SEES Virtual Science Symposium

Deadline to apply is February 20, 2023.

Q: Where is it held?

A: The on-site SEES internship is held at the University of Texas at Austin if the pandemic allows. Students are housed on the main campus and transported daily to the UT Center for Space Research at the north engineering campus.

Q: Who is this for?

A: SEES is for high school students that are current Sophomores and Juniors (rising Juniors and Seniors) that are 16 and older with an interest in STEM. Must be 16 by July 1, 2023. Students must be U.S. citizens.

Q: Who coordinates this program?

A: The SEES program is funded by NASA and managed by the Texas Space Grant Consortium in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research.

Q: What if I am working during the summer and cannot get off?

A: We suggest signing up for one of the virtual projects which you can do from your home, working with NASA Subject Matter Experts, while still contributing to NASA research. If you have family vacations, camps, or other conflicts, we suggest you apply another year.

Q:What if I have a family vacation during a part of the internship?

A: We suggest signing up for one of the virtual projects which you can do from your home, working with NASA Subject Matter Experts, while still contributing to NASA research. If you will not have daily access to participate, we suggest you apply another year.

Q: What if I sign up for one of the virtual projects but I also have another virtual internship?

A: We suggest students plan on participating in no more than one internship over the summer to focus on the SEES experience. The SEES experience immerses students into the program from the first to the last day.

APPLICATION

Q: What skills, experiences, and mindset would best position a student for success in the SEES application?

A: A student’s application is best positioned with good grades and application answers that demonstrate teamwork experience and a strong interest in STEM.

Q: Do only the top-performing academic students get in?

A: No. SEES also considers past STEM experiences and projected impact (scholarly need).

Q: So is it better to list many or few STEM activities?

A: SEES considers STEM experiences on both ends of the spectrum – listing many past experiences promotes teamwork & STEM skills, while a lack of experiences might suggest a scholarly need. Both aptitude and need are weighed in the application process. We recognize that some students may not have many STEM opportunities in their community. This should not deter you from applying. Explain what is offered and why you are interested in STEM.

Q: I will be a sophomore, but I am 15. Can I apply?

A: SEES will accept interns who are 16 or older by July 1, 2023.

Q: I just found out about this program, but I am a senior. Can I apply?

A: SEES will accept only current sophomores and juniors.

Q: I had a great time. Can I come back next year?

A: SEES only allows one internship per person. We welcome you as an ambassador of the program as part of the SEES Alumni group.

Q: How long has this program been going on?

A: The CSR internship program began in 2010 with mostly local (central Texas) students. The current SEES program, drawing students from all over the U.S., was first funded by NASA in 2016.

Q: How many applications do you get? How many interns do you take?

A: In 2022, we received over 1100 applications annually and we accepted 260. The SEES program can accommodate approximately 50 students on-site and additional interns virtually.

Q: Where can I submit my SEES application?

A: You can fill out SEES application here.

INTRODUCTION VIDEO

Q: How long does the video need to be?

A: The video is your way to introduce yourself to the science mentors. 3-5 minutes is the ideal timeframe.

Q: My video isn’t ready. Can I email you the link?

A: No. The link to your video should be included in your application with the deadline of February 20, 2023.

Q: What should my video be about?

A: Tell us who you are, where you are from, and why you’re interested in becoming a NASA high school intern in under 5 minutes. Details are always welcome, don’t be afraid to “brag” about yourself, and help your video stand out by showing your creativity!

Q: Can I email my video file to you?

A: No. You must submit a link to your unlisted video with your online application. Please refer to our video requirements under section 4. Submitting a video.

RECOMMENDATION FORM

GUIDELINES:

  • The Recommendation Form is a standard form to be completed and submitted. You may access an example here.
  • Ask your recommender if they are willing to submit the form.
  • Input the correct email address into your application.
  • Please choose your recommender wisely. It is the applicant’s responsibility to follow-up with the individual submitting the Recommendation to see if it has been submitted.
  • Provide the deadline to the recommender. Deadline: March 1, 2023.

Q: Can I use my own email address for the letter of recommendation and then forward that to my teacher, counselor or principal?

A: No. Please provide the name and email address of your teacher, counselor, youth program leader, or principal when submitting your application. An email will be sent to that address where they will be able to submit a recommendation on your behalf.

Q: Will you let me know if a Letter of Recommendation has been submitted for me? How will I know if one has been submitted?

A: It will be the applicant’s responsibility to follow-up with the individual submitting the Recommendation to see if it has been submitted on your behalf. Please make sure the address you provide is correct and has no typos. You will receive confirmation when the recommendation has been submitted.

Q: What is the submission deadline for Letter of Recommendation?

A: All Letter of Recommendations must be received by March 1, 2023.

COST

Q: How much does it cost? Is it really free?

A: The only costs are for your transportation to/from Austin and any incidentals. SEES provides transportation to/from the airport and dorm, dorm costs, meals, and activities. We do have travel scholarships for students in need. Requesting a travel scholarship has no bearing on acceptance into the program.

Q: I was accepted but can’t afford airfare. Should I apply?

A: SEES has a limited number of scholarships for transportation. Please mark need on the appropriate question on the application. The need for a travel scholarship has no bearing on acceptance into the program.

LOGISTICS

Q: Do you have a packing list?

A: Yes. This will be provided when accepted into the program. However, general attire will be business casual and school appropriate.

Q: What is the weather in Austin in July? What clothes do I need to wear?

A: Hot. Bring shorts for outside, and a sweater/sweatshirt for inside (the computer labs are kept cold).

Q: Do I need to bring a laptop?

A: It is not required but highly recommended. SEES has a limited number of extra computers on-site. Connectivity is required for all virtual internships and distance learning events.

Q: Will I be able to get wifi access?

A: Yes. All interns will have access to the University of Texas wi-fi network while on-site.

Q: Who is the emergency contact?

A: Margaret Baguio, Program Manager for the Texas Space Grant Consortium and coordinator for the SEES program. Her contact information is: email: baguio@tcsr.utexas.edu and phone numbers: Office: 512-471-6922 or Cell: 512-423-4039. Celena Miller is Program Manager for Texas Space Grant Consortium and SEES. Her contact information is: email: cmiller@csr.utexas.edu and phone numbers: Office: 512-232-6895 and Cell: 956-681-0274.

Q: I have an unavoidable conflict with another event. Should I apply?

A: SEES immerses students into the program from the first to the last day. No days may be missed. (Emergency requests are examined on a case-by-case basis).

HOUSING

Q: How do I arrive (check-in)?

A: Detailed information will be provided upon acceptance. All interns flying into Austin (Austin Bergstrom International Airport) are met by our staff and shuttled to the UT dormitory. Students arriving via car should go directly to the dormitory.

Q: How do I depart (check-out)?

A: All interns flying out of Austin (Austin Bergstrom International Airport) will be shuttled to the airport by our staff. Students leaving the dormitory by car should have an adult check out with a staff member.

Q: Where do interns stay?

A: The dorm is on The University of Texas at Austin campus. Details will be provided to all accepted into the SEES program. All rooms are double occupancy.

Q: Do you keep boys and girls separated after hours?

A: Yes. SEES dorm resident monitors will check on the interns.

Q: Who is monitoring them?

A: SEES staff are with the interns while they are on campus.

Q: Are these people background checked?

A: Yes. All SEES staff have completed youth protection training class and a background check.

Q: Can someone visit students after work hours?

A: A family member or friend may visit with prior parent/guardian and SEES approval. Most evenings and weekends will be scheduled with supplementary SEES activities.

Q: Can my family/friend attend any SEES events?

A: SEES events are for interns only. The final SEES Science Symposium will be virtual on July 24-26, 2023. All are invited.

FOOD & MEDICINE

Q: Do I need money for food?

A: SEES provides three meals per day and snacks. Students are responsible for any extra food costs. Students attending the on-site internship will be allowed to purchase an All-Sports Pass to go to the university gym for sports, swimming, and games.

Q: Can you accommodate food allergies?

A: SEES will do our best to accommodate special food requests as long as they are known before arrival. Vegetarian meals are provided.

Q: Who do I contact in an emergency?

A: Margaret Baguio, Texas Space Grant Program Manager for Education and Outreach is the emergency contact. Her information is: Email: baguio@csr.utexas.edu, Phones: Office: 512-471-6922 and Cell: 512-423-4039. Celena Miller, Texas Space Grant Program Manager is the secondary emergency contact. Her information is: Email: cmiller@csr.utexas.edu, Phones: Office: 512-232-6895 and Cell: 956-681-0274.

PROGRAM

Important Dates to Remember

February 20 Applications Due
March 1 Recommendation Forms Due
May 1 Approximate date of notifications
May 1 – June 25 Earth and Space Distance Learning Module Available
May 1 – June 25 Python Distance Learning Module Available (notification provided if project requires, otherwise optional)
June 25 Earth and Space Science/Python Modules Due
June 25 – July 7 Project Specific Online Work guided by Project Mentors
July 8 – 22 On-site Projects at UT
July 22 All students on-site return home
June 25– July 22 Virtual Projects unless specified in project description
July 24 – 26 SEES Virtual Science Symposium

Q: How much do I need to prepare academically before the internship?

A: SEES interns are sorted into project groups when selected for the program. Every effort is made to assign interns with a project on which they have expressed interest. All interns must complete the Earth and Space Science Module by June 25. The Python course is required for some projects and optional for others. Each student will be notified. Both Earth and Space Science and Python modules must be completed by June 25. June 25 – July 7 interns will be working remotely guided by NASA subject matter experts to provide the background needed to complete the internship. Internship work will be daily July 8-22, 2023. The virtual SEES Science Symposium featuring each team’s research will be July 24 – 26, 2023.

Q: How busy are the days? Do I have time to go sightseeing?

A: The SEES research program at CSR runs all day M-F. Most evenings and some weekends have supplementary events scheduled. The SEES program includes a variety of tours.

Q: What field trips do interns take?

A: The SEES interns will visit NASA Johnson Space Center. Additionally, other trips may be taken during evenings and weekends.

Q: Do students receive any course credit?

A: No course credit is given but each participant receives a NASA certificate of completion.


The SEES High School Summer Intern Program is funded through NASA Cooperative Agreement Notice NNH15ZDA004C and is a part of NASA’s Science Activation program. For more information, go to: https://science.nasa.gov/learners