Blog . Summer Internship at NASA Glenn Research Center
NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio
How you found out about the internship:
Anthony Scalmato, Animation Department chair, sent out an email asking for portfolios and I tossed mine in the hat!
What you’re doing:
Brian Neibecker, a game developer from Miami University, and myself were brought onto a project that previous interns started last year. Together we were tasked with developing a touch screen game that educates an audience on the SCaN Space Communications, which includes the near earth network (ground stations and close satellites), the moon, mars and future deep space networks. Brian's duties include coding and designing the flow of the game, while I am responsible for all of the visual elements in the game, which proved to be quite a large job. Since the start of the internship I have 3D modeled the entire earth and deep space communication network which includes 15 ground stations, three generations of TDRS Satellites, the Hubble, the maven, and other assets to be used in the game. We have also been working on some side projects that I am very proud to be able to work on. I had the chance to 3D model the Europa Clipper Satellite, which is to be used in a simulation to find life under the surface of the moon. Overall, it has been truly an incredible experience and I am very excited to continue this project. The research center is pretty much everything you would think NASA would be, and I am simply honored to be working with a group of very intelligent people.
What you’re learning:
It seems like I learn something new every day, whether it is related to the game design project, some crazy math philosophy other interns talk about, deep space missions, what happens to jet engines when volcanic ash is blasted into them - the list goes on forever. As for game design, I am learning a lot about game production pipelines and the importance of organization and quality work.
What has surprised you so far:
How much fun I am having… I never really expected to enjoy going to work every day but everyday here has been a great experience. I am also surprised by how little sleep is required to survive.
How CIA prepared you to get the most out of your internship:
Anthony Scalmato has set up an amazing animation major here at CIA and it has prepared me for almost any digital task NASA needs me to do. We learned everything from 3D modeling, animation, rigging, 2D animation, character design, etc. and every ounce of that knowledge has become useful here. Being able to create 3D and 2D assets and animations for a project such as this one really proves your worth to your employer and expands the potential of landing a good job.