MHS senior bound for internship with NASA
Soon Mitchell High School senior Minda McDaniel will add "graduate" and "licensed pilot" to her growing resume. And here's another: "NASA intern." That's right -- a local teen has been accepted to work and study at one of the world's most prestig...
Soon Mitchell High School senior Minda McDaniel will add "graduate" and "licensed pilot" to her growing resume. And here's another: "NASA intern." That's right -- a local teen has been accepted to work and study at one of the world's most prestigious centers for aeronautics and spacerelated research and development.
Last week, McDaniel learned she'd been accepted for the internship at Johnson Space Center in Houston this summer. It's an opportunity the 19-year-old can barely believe she earned.
"It's NASA," she said in a hushed voice. "And I've kind of idolized them for a while -- since, like, forever."
Airplanes have fascinated McDaniel since she was about 3 years old. Recently, she started working toward her private pilot's license at Wright Brothers Aviation and Air, a flight program at the Mitchell Municipal Airport. So far, she's logged 18 hours in the sky.
And with entry into Iowa State University's aeronautical engineer- ing program lined up for the fall, McDaniel knows a NASA internship will look mighty impressive on her resume and help prepare her for a career in engineering.
"I've pretty much told everybody that stood still long enough -- just about everybody I know," she said.
McDaniel earned the internship after an application process and phone interview. To her knowledge, only 100 high school seniors in the country are headed to one of 10 NASA space centers.
She learned about the opportunity through a NASA online community, a Web site that her biology teacher at Mitchell High School suggested she join.
In addition to chats and activities, the site offered its 12th-grade members the chance to apply for an eightweek collegiate experience through a program called NASA INSPIRE (Interdisciplinary National Science Program Incorporating Research and Education Experience).
The internship comes with a $5,000 stipend, which McDaniel can use for travel and housing. She's set to leave June 14 and return Aug. 7. She's not sure what the internship will involve, just that she'll be working with computers -- and it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"It's very cool. I'm pretty excited. It's going to be a lot of fun," she said.