For Immediate Release: Oct. 2, 2018
By Warren Duffie Jr., Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va.—Addressing a group of science-loving high school students, Dr. Sophoria Westmoreland issued a challenge.
“Raise your hands if you like money,” she said. “Now raise your hands if you don’t mind working for that money—because the Navy and Marine Corps need you.”
Pleased by the number of hands that shot upward, Westmoreland touted the benefits of the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP)—which provides summer internship opportunities to academically talented students to perform research alongside scientists and engineers at naval laboratories and warfare centers.
Westmoreland, a SEAP support contractor at ONR, recently spoke to students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) during an outreach visit at Harrison High School in Atlanta, Georgia.
The goals of SEAP—an eight-week program for rising 10th- through 12th-graders—are to encourage students to pursue STEM careers, and to further their education through mentoring and participation in research. The program is intended to make participants aware of naval research and technology efforts, which can lead to future employment within the Department of the Navy.
“It’s critical to engage young people to explore STEM careers,” said Dr. Michelle Skoorka, ONR’s director of Laboratory Research Programs. “They’ll get paid to do a cool job and will understand that their work matters to the Navy and Marine Corps.”
Interested students must apply and be accepted into SEAP, which places them as apprentices at laboratories and warfare centers for two months during the summer. Participants work full time with naval scientists and engineers, who also act as mentors. SEAP offers students a unique and positive experience in their fields of interest, encouraging them to pursue careers in science and engineering.
“You won’t be making coffee or getting donuts,” Westmoreland told the students at Harrison High School. “You’ll be assigned a mentor and work on actual naval research. You’ll also be learning professional skills like how to dress appropriately for work, how to interact with your co-workers and how to give presentations.”
Applicants must be 16 years of age and have completed the ninth grade. Those accepted receive a federal salary while participating in SEAP, as well as a stipend ($3,300 for new students and $3,800 for returning ones). Skoorka said that SEAP usually accepts approximately 300 students for internships each year.
Applications are currently being accepted for SEAP’s 2019 summer internships—and must be submitted by Nov. 2, 2018. For more information, visit http://seap.asee.org.
Warren Duffie Jr. is a contractor for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.