Above: Summer-Dawn Chamberlain (left), a STARS program graduate, works alongside PISCES Geologist Kyla Edison to understand how basalt grain size data can be translated into visual formats.

A Waiākea High School student who attended the STARS (STEM Aerospace Research Scholars) program last summer is now interning with PISCES to develop her research skills and prepare for a job in the sciences one day. Summer-Dawn Chamberlain is learning the fundamentals of planetary geology and how it applies to PISCES’ basalt sintering research.

The internship is earning her credit through the Waiākea High School Public Services Academy which engages students in a variety of community-oriented activities including college and career awareness. Summer is particularly interested in physics and astronomy and wants to pursue a career in astrophysics, but her interests also extend into space exploration.

Summer was among the 12 students who graduated from the STARS program in 2019, a week-long summer STEM program for Hawai‘i high school girls coordinated by PISCES. She said attending STARS helped her believe she could become a scientist.

“Participating in the STARS program this last summer really boosted my confidence and made me even more excited to begin my career in science,” she said. “I think that to a high schooler, the idea of becoming a scientist can be really daunting. But to be able to converse with and hear the stories of so many different people from so many different fields really showed me how flexible your path can be, and how many options you have.”

Summer’s internship will continue through January. She hopes to gain skills and new experiences that will help her transition to a career in the sciences.