Thursday, September 8, 2016

Getting on the Front Page of NASA's Website

A couple of weeks ago one of my former students found himself on the front page of NASA's website,  That is super cool!  Not just super cool, but super duper duper cool!  I admit that I am a bit jealous!!!

So how did he end up on the front page of NASA's website?  After high school he chose to major in physics and astronomy.  Immediately upon arriving he started talking to the professor in the physics and astronomy department and found one willing to involve undergraduates in research.  To be honest, finding a professor to work with an undergraduate student is not hard to do.  Most professors that I knew were very willing to involve undergraduates in research.  The project my former student worked on had him and others in the group designing experiments to be tested on a rocket.  Near launch day, an article was written and published on NASA's website and put on the front page.  Super cool!

If you're a high school student or an undergraduate college student looking to get involved in research, the best, and most effective way to do so is to talk to the professors in your the department you wish to work in.  Some may not have room in their lab but it is very likely you'll find someone willing to work with you and teach you the basics of research in the field.  That's how I started.  As an undergraduate, one day after astronomy class, I went up and talked to the professor.  Next thing I know, I have a summer job working on a radio telescope!  So give it a shot.  What's the worst that can happen?  The professor says no and you move on to the next professor.  

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