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Katy High School Student Earns Coveted NASA Internship

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

August 8, 2020

By Natalie Cook Clark

A senior at Katy ISD’s Seven Lakes High School was selected to explore research opportunities with NASA this summer. David Lin landed a Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES) internship, hosted by The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Space Research.

Seven Lakes Senior Earns NASA Internship

Seven Lakes High School senior, David Lin was selected for the SEES internship based on his profile and teacher recommendations. He participated in the nationally competitive program sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium over the summer.

Students were chosen for the program to conduct authentic research using NASA data.


“The project aimed to trace mosquito growth and distribution by collecting data from local communities and mapping the data to the global satellite maps,” says David Lin. “The interns set their goals to analyze the data and find meaningful information about mosquito habitats that can be used in healthcare and disease control.”

Student Scientists Track Mosquitos in Study

Mosquitoes cause millions of cases of disease in humans every year, but seasonal habitat monitoring can provide early warning of potential disease outbreaks. Using the GLOBE Observer citizen science app and a microscope that clips onto their mobile device, student scientists can report actual and potential mosquito habitats they identify on the landscape. Paired with satellite observations of temperature, water and vegetation, this data can support scientists forecasting a community’s risk of mosquito-borne disease.

“I got to know this project from a friend who was also a past participant of SEES,” says Lin. “I found that the Mosquito Habitat Mapper project especially fits my interests in community healthcare applications. I believe my past research experience in related fields helped me get into this prestigious program.”

Passion for Improving Public Healthcare

Lin has been involved in many community service projects through student-led volunteering organizations, and has a passion for improving public healthcare conditions.


“I was inspired by scientific research that utilized data analysis to help develop models for healthcare applications, which I think will become a more popular area of exploration in the future,” says Lin.


Lin plans to become a scientist and apply machine learning and computer science to research. He is looking to attend a university with a research program that can allow him to extend his knowledge and prepare for a career in science.


“I plan to carry on the research that I began in this program," says Lin. "I will certainly take the research skills learned here and apply them in my future career. NASA is definitely a place with vast opportunities.”

Encouraging Katy Students Lin encourages other Katy students to seek out opportunities in fields that interest them because NASA has a lot of programs that need people with unique skills and interests.

“Developing your own interest and skillset will prepare you for a program like SEES,” says Lin. “It takes time and effort to find what you are truly passionate about by trying out new and different things. Most of the time, you may not see any outcome for your efforts; however, there will eventually be an opportunity that allows you to display your hard work towards pursuing your passion.”


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