Some students look forward to summer as a break from getting up early, going to school, and doing homework. Garam Song is looking forward to a summer spent surrounded by scientists and new discoveries about the universe. Song will be working at JPL.
Song, 16, actually started his job at JPL in March of this year but will be putting in more time during the summer. A senior next year at Crescenta Valley High School, Song was recommended for the job by CVHS computer science teacher and JPL employee Greg Neat.
Many students in Neat's computer classes and in the robotics team he supervises have found their way to jobs at JPL with his support and guidance. Song has taken three years of Neat's computer classes.
Neat said he likes finding students who show potential in computer science and offering them an opportunity to practice that knowledge in a real-world setting, like a JPL job.
"I was really surprised and grateful," said Song of Neat's offer at JPL. "It's such a great opportunity."
Song's main job at JPL will be writing computer programs and running data and analysis. He will also be updating an internal Web page. Song will be working full-time this summer, then going back to part-time during the school year, and plans to work at JPL again next summer. He has yet to decide on a college but knows that he wants a career that is computer related.
Song said he realizes that the JPL job is a great opportunity. "It teaches value, gives me work experience and responsibility," he said. "I am learning the real world."