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The Capacity Building program is honored to host eight summer 2020 interns. The entire 10-week internship is virtual because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Each of the team members bring unique experiences and skillsets. As they build their technical and professional skillsets with us this summer, we are excited to introduce them through a series of features created by the interns themselves.  

Grace Finstrom and Aariana Maynard lead the team’s communications project, including the creation of our inaugural newsletter, promotional video, print materials, data visualizations and infographics.  

Grace Finstrom

NASA Capacity Building Program Intern, Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering Student at Montana State University

Grace Finstrom
Grace Finstrom cross-country skiing at Yellowstone National Park; Credit: Grace Finstrom

How Do You Help CBP?

I am one of the team's Communication Coordination Leads; I also assist with data analysis and strategy planning.

What Makes You Tick?

When I was a child, I read about Homer Hickam. Although he faced near impossible odds, a love of mathematics and learning propelled him to do extraordinary things and help many people. I remember thinking, "I want to learn like that. I want to help people."


Aariana Maynard

NASA Capacity Building Program Intern, Communications Lead

Aariana Maynard
Aariana Maynard at Langley Research Center; Credit: Aariana Maynard

What is a normal day as a NASA intern?

A normal day in the life of a virtual NASA intern involves attending meetings, listening in on phone calls between departments, communicating with intern and team leadership, and being able to adapt to anything thrown your way. 

How did you get interested in the program?

I was inspired to get involved with NASA and the Capacity Building Program after conversing with those that work with the program. At first, I was unsure what CBP was, but came to realize the amazing trainings the team has to engage partners and other target audiences. 

What's your favorite part of the job so far?

I believe that my favorite part of the job includes working with my fellow interns on the various projects we are working on. Additionally, it is truly amazing to be able to connect and speak to NASA professionals who one day, I might work alongside. 

Are there any unique experiences you've Gotten To Have because of it?

Indeed, I was able to attend a few NASA academies during my last two years of high school. Additionally, I was able to intern for one of the programs last year which enabled me to work for the Capacity Building Program this year!

Where do you go from here?

It is my hope that upon graduation, I will be part of NASA's office of Strategic Communication. 

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