Arlington and Alexandria High School Students Summer 2016 Externship
For three weeks, beginning August 16 and ending September 1, 2016, ten high school students from Arlington, VA and Alexandria, VA took part in an externship program at the Smithsonian Institution through the Office of Fellowships and Internships. The program was sponsored in part by the 4-H Youth Development Alexandria Cooperative Extension under the leadership of Reginald Morris.
Lead by Karen Carter, the students met weekly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and experienced a variety behind-the-scenes tours, presentations, and events around SI. The group, consisting of Hiban “Jack” Marroquin, Wesley Martinez, Alexis Morgan, Bryan Diaz Perez, Yanira Lazo Pineda, Kevin Rosales, Murad Saeed, Abdella Saleh, Zinab Saleh, and Musse Yimmer, along with one intrepid program intern, Abby Jacobs, met with curators, researchers and other SI staff from units such as the National Postal Museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Zoological Park, the Smithsonian Latino Center, the National Museum of Natural History, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the Smithsonian Gardens, the National Air and Space Museum, the Office of the Chief Information Officer, the Smithsonian Libraries, and even the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.
The group got to see rare books and postage stamps, meteors as old as our solar system, SI’s extensive recordings collections, the “Big Man” sculpture, Peruvian rope bridges, space shuttle toilets, even a deadly electric eel among many, many other things. They saw the massive computer servers that power the entire institution; honed their resume-writing skills and public speaking abilities in interactive workshops, and learned to distinguish different types of jaguars as well as how to start a compost pile.
The students contributed their expertise as well: translating Arabic and Spanish from artifacts at CFCH and NMNH, for example, or solving a Rubik’s Cube side in under 10 seconds. The three-week program culminated in a final capstone project where each student presented on her or his experience at SI in light of a particular theme. The photos below give a sample of the experiences. To see more images, please click here (all photos are taken by Abby Jacobs). Thank you to everyone, SI staff and high school students who made this externship such a Seriously Amazing experience!