NASA Celebrates Its Longest Running Internship Program
HAMPTON, Va. -- This month NASA's Langley Research Center celebrates the 25th anniversary of its longest running internship program, the Langley Aerospace Research Summer Scholars (LARSS) program.
The program began with a class of 20 students and has grown to more than 4,500 competitively selected high school, undergraduate and graduate students from 48 states and U.S. territories.
NASA's Chief Technologist Bobby Braun, who was in the first class in 1986, said, "LARSS provided my first glimpse of NASA, first practical knowledge of engineering and an introduction to other aerospace professionals, many of whom I am happy to still call colleagues today."
LARSS helps to preserve U.S. leadership in aeronautics and space science by producing a well-educated, well-trained, and diverse engineering and science workforce.
"One of the main points with LARSS is the impact the experience has on both the nation and NASA's future workforce pipeline as well as the student professionally," explained Debbie Murray, LARSS coordinator. "The experience gained goes toward necessary training required to help fill the gap with needed future skilled scientists and engineers."
LARSS students are typically pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, or other majors that lend support to NASA's mission in special project areas such as business and public administration, management, art, journalism, and media arts.
LARSS has served as a first-of-its-kind model for internship, mentoring, and development programs at other NASA centers and was recently ranked sixth on the list of "10 Best Internships for 2011" by Vault Career Intelligence.
NASA Langley, the National Institute of Aerospace and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium are hosting a reception and banquet on Thursday, Aug. 4, at the Newport News Marriott hotel to celebrate the anniversary. Former astronaut Keith Reightler will be the guest speaker.
Since 2006, the LARSS program has been managed for NASA by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium under a sub-award from the National Institute of Aerospace.
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