NASA interns are known for going above and beyond. A team of interns at the NASA Aeronautics Research Institute at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley is a prime example.
Article continues below
In summer 2020 and at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, they found a way to help people in need.
Interns developed a project called “Match Supply and Demand of Goods Deliverable by Aviation.” Using a new website they created, they helped connect nonprofits with California farmers to deliver boxes of produce to food banks.
The website provided nonprofit organizations a way to submit forms and select the types of produce they were interested in, while giving farmers an option to submit what they were selling. Ultimately, the project connected Angel Flight West, a nonprofit organization that specializes in aviation in Santa Monica, California, with The Farmlink Project, a nationwide nonprofit organization that focuses on solutions to food insecurity.
Angel Flight West was able to provide flights to transport produce during the summer of 2020 and up until January 2021 – successfully delivering hundreds of boxes of produce.
“The shipments included 320-produce boxes delivered in 22 volunteered personal planes that departed from Salinas, California,” said Pedro Jose Salazar Garcia, an Aerospace Engineering student at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, and a contributor to the project and continuing NASA intern. “Angel Flight West and The Farmlink Project were contacted by us about the partnership and they decided to help us with this mission.”
Two California food banks benefited from the project – Tehama Together, located in the city of Red Bluff, and Clearlake Gleaners, located in the city of Finely. The Farmlink Project selected the food banks based on their already existing network.
“We also secured another shipment of 200,000 meals and cases of bottled water for distribution to those that need it in Winslow, Arizona and the Pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico,” said Garcia. “My favorite part of this project is that our team was able to help the community during [such] tough times.”
A total of eight interns with various majors contributed to this project during summer 2020, including AJ Singh, Kiran Gomatam, Sarah Tesfaye, Bjorn Johnson, D’Leela Saiyed, Christos Vasilarakis, Pedro Salazar, and Aneesh Galgali. ■
A significant heavy rainfall event is forecast for the Southwest as a mid-level low and anomalously high moisture associated with a remnant tropical wave help to enhance storm development associated with an already active monsoon.