HomeSicklerville NewsStudent selected for prestigious science internship

Student selected for prestigious science internship

Brooklynn McGough is among only 100 participants nationwide

16 year old, Brooklynn McGough is a member of the Gloucester Township chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Rowan College of South Jersey.

Brooklynn McGough, a standout junior at Williamstown High School, has been chosen for the prestigious Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES) summer internship at the University of Texas.

Hosted by the university’s Austin’s Center for Space Research and funded by NASA, the SEES program is renowned for its competitive nature, with only 100 interns selected from more than 2,000 applicants nationwide.

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The internship provides a platform for students to immerse themselves in authentic scientific research and STEM education. Participants will engage closely with leading scientists and engineers, conducting research with data from NASA’s Earth-observing satellites. Projects include designing Mars habitats, lunar exploration initiatives and analyzing images from the International Space Station.

Brooklynn, a member of the Gloucester Township chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Rowan College of South Jersey, is among an elite group.

“Brooklynn is ranked number nine in her class and has a 4.0 GPA,” said her mother Kinia. “She holds a Spanish Seal of Biliteracy, she placed first in DECA state competition in team marketing management and second place in the DECA regional competitor …

“She won first place in the Leaders of Tomorrow Philadelphia Chapter oratorical contest,” Kinia added. “She was selected to be on the national Black MBA Philadelphia Case Study Team at the annual conference in Washington, DC.”

Brooklynn’s selection underscored not only her academics but a dedication to STEM fields. At Williamstown High, the 16-year-old is part of the rigorous Honors Engineering Academy, where she has developed a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math through advanced coursework and STEM clubs. The school’s well-equipped labs and encouragement from teachers have played a significant role in nurturing her interests.

According to Kinia, former resident of Voorhees, Brooklynn discovered the SEES program while searching for STEM internship opportunities. The application process was intense, involving a 500-word essay, a high-school transcript and a video presentation. She learned of her acceptance while competing at the National DECA competition in California.

Kinia also credits her daughter’s success to the teachers and counselors at her school who helped foster Brooklynn’s passion and enthusiasm for STEM fields, as well as the school’s engineering department. The community also recognized her accomplishments at a Leaders of Tomorrow Philadelphia Chapter banquet.

Before the on-site internship at the University of Texas, students engage in remote work with project scientists and complete an Earth and space science course and a Python coding course. During two weeks, Brooklynn will participate in hands-on activities, field investigations and collaboration with NASA-funded scientists and engineers.

Her goals include gaining practical experience, deepening her understanding of aerospace concepts, and networking with professionals and peers who share her passion for STEM.

Kinia, a Girl Scout leader, introduced Brooklynn to STEM.

” … I introduced Brooklynn to STEM at the young age of 6 by taking her to STEM workshops and conferences that the Girl Scouts of Central Southern New Jersey provided in their program,” Kinia recalled. “During the nine years Brooklynn was a Girl Scout member, she cultivated the interest to explore more about science, space and engineering.”

Kinia also encouraged her daughter to take evening classes at Rowan, with a major in engineering science. Brooklynn is on track to obtain her associate’s degree next year, just before she graduates high school.

As for the internship, Kinia believes the experience will influence her daughter’s future aspirations.

“She intends to leverage this experience to explore potential career paths and solidify her interest in specific STEM fields,” Kinia explained. “Ultimately, Brooklynn’s goal is to make the most of this internship by learning as much as possible, contributing meaningfully to the projects she works on and setting a strong foundation for her future academic and professional endeavors.

“Brooklynn plans to pursue a bachelor of architecture and a master’s degree, with the goal of establishing her own residential development company and architectural practice,” Kinia added. “She dreams of traveling the world as an architect, working on global projects.”

Kinia has advice for other parents to help their children follow her daughter’s path.

“I would tell parents to encourage curiosity, provide resources and foster a supportive environment,” she noted. “Provide them with opportunities to explore STEM subjects through hands-on activities, encourage their questions, and celebrate their achievements, no matter how small.

“Nurturing those skills early on can set a solid foundation for your child’s passion to flourish.”


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