Ohio State student spends summer on NASA scholarship
How I helped with the International Space Station on my summer vacation
Abbie Greens future might include the Peace Corps and possibly graduate school. But for now shes content to spend her "summer vacation" working for NASA and specifically to be involved in the International Space Station program at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
"This is an incredible experience," said Green, a senior at Ohio State University in Columbus. "I have learned so much about all the intricate details involved in space projects. Every piece of hardware on the Space Station must undergo electromagnetic interference and compatibility tests before it can fly. Im creating schematic diagrams for a procedures manual for Space Station tests."
The unique opportunity for Green and 48 other students from around the country is part of NASAs 10-week Equal Opportunity Summer Scholars Internship Program. The experience pairs students with disabilities and other minority college students with NASA researchers and engineers. Students perform research and experiments, then present their findings to Marshall employees overseeing their research.
She is participating through the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences ENTRYPOINT! program. ENTRYPOINT! places students with disabilities in math, science and engineering related internships. The Association has a partnership with NASAs Achieving Competency in Careers in Engineering and Space Science program.
Green, an "A" student who grew up in Rosendale, N.Y., was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and narcolepsy after failing three classes her freshman year at Ohio State. The universitys Learning Skills program and Office for Disability Services helped her adjust the way she learns. Now shes on the College of Engineering Deans List and plans to graduate in December with a major in engineering physics and a minor in astronomy.
"I took an astronomy course as an elective class and just fell in love with it," she said. "When I discovered this summer scholarship was available to me, I knew this was an ideal opportunity to put my education to work. What better place to be a rocket scientist than NASA?"
Green says being at NASA is helping her decide her future. And shes working with two former Ohio State Buckeyes her Marshall Center mentor engineer Stu Clifton and her lab supervisor Tony Clark.
"Everything they have introduced to me is fascinating. But Im finding I might like to teach astronomy or physics rather than work in either field," she said. "I hope to spend two years teaching for the Peace Corps and then maybe go to graduate school. I still have time to decide."
The Summer Scholars Internship Program is sponsored by Marshalls Equal Opportunity Office and open to students who have a 3.0 or better grade point average as well as a minimum score of 1,200 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Other criteria are determined by a students university.