Santa Ana high schoolers complete internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (video)

Perhaps you’ve been following the story of eight high school students from Santa Ana who earned the rare opportunity to be paid interns at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

Well, Friday marked the last day of their eight-week odyssey, which was made possible by OCDE’s OC Pathways project, OpTerra Energy Services, the Santa Ana Unified School District and, of course, JPL.

A day before the students said their final goodbyes, we dispatched a film crew to Pasadena to learn more about their experiences. Hear what they had to say by clicking on the brief video above.

As we mentioned in a previous post, this wasn’t merely a job-shadowing program. The soon-to-be-seniors were paired with JPL science and engineering mentors and tasked with advancing real projects through highly technical contributions. Suffice to say, it was the kind of opportunity that’s typically not made available to high school students.

“The students have been, I think, impressed with the amount of responsibility and the expectations that we’ve had of them,” said David Seidel, JPL’s deputy education director, “but they’ve all stepped up and they have met those expectations.”