NASA STEM Enhancement in Earth Science (SEES) 2020 Virtual Summer High School Internship

NASA STEM Enhancement in Earth Science (SEES) 2020 Virtual Summer High School Internship

In response to the current COVID restrictions, the 2020 SEES program went virtual to provided a safe virtual summer internship experience opportunity for 333 high school sophomores and juniors over 13 different project choices. SEES Interns worked remotely with Scientists and Engineers at UT/CSR conducting NASA supported research on astronomy, remote sensing, space geodetic techniques to help understand Earth systems, natural hazards, COVID, and climate science. Students also participated in a Zoom SEES Speaker Series where they were able to interact with subject matter experts. Students completed a 3-week pre-internship lesson to prepare them to work along side their mentors. Students connected with their mentors through online platforms to complete pre-internship modules, learn about their project, and research a project focus. In the last week, student research teams presented their projects to mentors via a live Zoom webinar and Q&A. The live public event was broadcast on YouTube, The 2020 SEES Virtual Showcase, with presentations by selected research teams from each project.

Outcomes includ​e:

  • 9th graders (3), 10th graders (126), and 11th graders (173) from 45 US states, 1 territory, and 2 international
  • 82 total student research projects completed (team and individual)
  • 302 students received Certificates of Completion
  • 348 Python certifications completed
    • 171 Coding-Basic
    • 98 Coding-Intermediate
    • 79 Coding-Advanced
  • 1,084 attended the 11 SEES Speaker Series presentations.
  • 25% were from underserved areas and 42% underrepresented.
  • GLOBE Mosquito Mapper Group
    • Fieldwork: >7,000 observations submitted from
    • Classified >8,000 land cover images from NASA satellites on Collect Earth
  • 39 media reports highlighted participating interns (Social media, news articles, and newspaper)


Webinar Analytics:

Webinars had a total of 2931 views in the last 28 days.

  • 771 were on the day of the showcase.
  • Audience retention is an average of 2.5-3.5 hours.


“SEES changed my life because it gave me a new perspective on what I can contribute to establishing a human presence on other planets.”

                            - Samantha Estrada, SEES 2020


Screenshot of local NBC news YouTube video titled "Student 'mosquito mapper' shares what study meant to her".