Teens learn the importance of STEM careers

Carlee
Carlee Miller

Carlee Miller, a senior at Blackfoot High School, is gearing up for college. This summer she was selected to participate in the Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars program (ISAS).  She wanted to know what it would be like working in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics field. Miller wants to design robotic prosthetics as a career and will apply to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the fall.

“In Idaho we don’t have a lot of STEM opportunities in rural areas and it’s very hard to connect with people that think like-mindedly. I did this program to connect with people and learn about STEM,” Miller said.

ISAS is a program that allows high school juniors to take an online NASA-developed course on Space Exploration through Idaho Digital Learning Academy. Nearly 90 Students participated in a week-long summer academy at Boise State University and NASA Ames Research Center in California.

“We hope to have our students advance in careers and post-secondary studies in STEM, which is a field that is lacking in the numbers for perspective employees that are available, especially to Idaho,” said Peter Kavouras, an event coordinator with the Idaho State Department of Education.

The teens undertook a mentored team simulated human mission to Mars and immersed in hands-on Idaho STEM activities while at the NASA Ames Research Center.

“The students got to meet with a NASA scientist and talked about careers in STEM. The scientist also discussed future space flight and research,” Kavouras said.

Miller said going to NASA was a lifetime experience.

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“It’s amazing to me what some of these careers offer. The scientist at NASA go from a cardboard design to something that is flying within months,” Miller said. “Being part of this program has opened my eyes to many opportunities and I’m excited for the future.”

For more information about ISAS, click here.