Student Resources

Hawaii Space Flight Lab students pose with their cube satellite.

Students at the Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory design, build, launch and operate microsatellites. Photo: HSFL

Interested in a Space Career? 

We are living in an exciting new era of space exploration when ideas once considered the realm of science fiction are becoming reality. With the quickening pace of technology, the next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers will unlock mysteries of our solar system, travel to the Moon and Mars, discover Earth-like exoplanets, and peer deeper into the universe than ever before. Forging a path in this rapidly evolving world doesn’t have to be rocket science. Scroll on to explore some of the many opportunities that can help you launch a career in space.

Local Internships & Space Programs

UH Mānoa Aerospace Engineering Program

Courses in applied aeronautics, astronautics and astrodynamics offered through the UH Mānoa College of Engineering. Students have opportunities to build and launch rockets and microsatellites.

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Akamai Workforce Initiative

A nationally recognized, STEM internship program for students attending college in Hawai‘i. Interns get professional training from scientists/engineers and access to career resources.

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Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory

A multidisciplinary research and education center at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa that provides workforce training in all aspects of unmanned space exploration missions.

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Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES)

Hey, that’s us! We offer internships in robotics and materials science projects for kama‘aina college students pursuing STEM.

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Hawaii Space Grant Consortium

NASA-based research and training opportunities for University of Hawaiʻi undergraduates.

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Maunakea Scholars Program

An innovative program offered through the Maunakea Observatories that provides aspiring astronomers in high school with research opportunities using Hawaiʻi’s world-class telescopes.

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PISCES interns work various projects for an analog planetary rover to develop coding and engineering skills. 

National Internships & Space Programs

UC Santa Cruz Science Internship Program

  • A 10-week summer internship for high school students with mentorship from University of California Santa Cruz instructors.
  • Real research projects in a variety of STEM fields including: astrophysics, biology, computer science, physics, psychology, and more.
  • Program offered as fully remote, hybrid, or in-person.
  • Partial and full need-based scholarships available.

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NASA Internships

  • Paid internships for high school and college-level students to contribute to NASA projects with guidance from NASA mentors
  • Pathways internships for students and recent graduates intended for landing full-time employment at NASA.
  • Fellowships for graduate students to pursue research aligning with NASA priorities.

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JPL Summer Internship

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California offers full-time internships in May/June to undergrad/graduate students pursuing STEM degrees. Interns gain hands-on experience and contribute to real space missions under the guidance of JPL scientists and engineers. The program includes access to tours, lectures, and career guidance resources.

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JPL Visiting Student Research Program

A research fellowship offered to college students pursuing a project in alignment with NASA JPL’s goals that has already received funding from a 3rd-party outside NASA. 

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A research fellowship for college students working on projects funded by 3rd parties that align with NASA JPL goals.

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Community College Aerospace Scholars

An education internship for community college students seeking a 2-year degree in STEM. Learn about NASA missions and research while developing your talents, interests, and passions for a STEM career.

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NASA Science Mission Directorate: Learner Opportunities

A broad listing of internship and fellowship program opportunities for high school and college students interested in STEM.

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Schelin Ireland at NASA-JPL

Schelin Ireland, a UH Mānoa geology student and STARS program alumnus, spent the summer of 2019 helping NASA prepare a life-hunting instrument for the Mars 2020 rover mission. Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech

Community & Networking

EMER-GEN Program

An annual program designed for young professionals and students who are passionate about space careers. Part of the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies (AMOS) Conference, the program includes:

  • Mentoring from advisors in industry, government, academia and NGOs
  • Networking with other young professionals
  • Technical short courses led by specialists
  • Professional development sessions

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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. Membership is available to high school (free) and college students (paid) and includes:

  • Access to activities, competitions, and scholarships promoting STEM
  • Find mentors
  • Opportunities to present research papers
  • Access to career center, webinars and workshops
  • Networking with community of peers
  • Subscription to Aerospace America

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American Astronomical Society (AAS)

The largest North American organization of astronomers with members from all fields in the astronomical sciences including physics, math, geology, engineering and others.

Student with membership receive publishing opportunities and exclusive content, astronomy job listings, career development opportunities, and access to AAS meetings where new discoveries are shared and communities are forged.

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Students at the EMER-GEN program for young professionals and students interested in space careers. Credit: AMOS/SGAC


AIAA Foundation

Annual scholarship and graduate awards for eligible college students in science and engineering programs.

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Universities Space Research Association (USRA)

The USRA scholarship program supports undergraduates who will be future leaders in space science and aerospace engineering.

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