Citing a visit to the NASA craftsmen exhibit at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture airshow, at Oshkosh, Wisc., David Klassman decided he wanted to work for NASA.
"I saw NASA as a pinnacle of the aerospace industry," said Klassman. "If I could work hard enough, maybe one day I could make that dream come true."
Klassman, a native of Elk Grove, Ill., is currently an intern at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. As part of NASA's Interdisciplinary National Science Project Incorporating Research and Education, or INSPIRE, program, Klassman is guiding six high school students through a research project with the goal of collecting aeronautical data during flights of a small remote-controlled aircraft.
The 2007 graduate of Elk Grove High School will soon enter his junior year at Iowa State University in Ames. Majoring in aerospace engineering, he found his niche in the internship at NASA Dryden, managing the schedule and other aspects of the student aircraft project while mentoring in physics and basic aeronautical principles.
Klassman credits his fourth-grade teacher, Judy Meyer, with his first awareness of NASA. Meyer was a Teacher in Space candidate who brought NASA educational materials to the classroom and allowed her students to watch space shuttle launches and landings as part of their science curriculum.
"The exposure to things one usually only reads about is the most memorable thing," was Klassman's response when asked about his time at NASA Dryden. "This experience confirms what I have been working towards."
After his May 2011 graduation, Klassman hopes to be employed at one of NASA's research centers.
PHOTO EDITORS: Photo No. ED09-0155-27 to support this release is available on-line at:
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