Amy McDow, an undergraduate student from Fayetteville, Tenn., is working as a staff member for the NASA Robotics Academy at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

McDow is one of two Logistics Managers for the annual summer internship program. She works to coordinate events with robotics professionals so the students in the program can learn about this exciting engineering field. She also works with an academic dean and program coordinator.

“The greatest thing is being able to make the program work for the students and making it as best as it can be,” McDow said.

McDow is a junior pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tenn. She joined her high school team for the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition, and designed some of the major manipulator mechanisms for her team’s robots. She was also a part of the Summer School Apprenticeship Research Program during high school and a participant in the first NASA Robotics Academy in the summer of 2005.

The NASA Robotics Academy is a unique, exciting program that targets rising college freshmen and sophomores, individuals that internship programs often overlook. Each participant, such as McDow, is particularly interested in robotics and often experienced in robot design and development.

The Robotics Academy aims to solidify its participants’ resolve to continue pursuing degrees in engineering with a focus in robotics by providing students with the means to engineer and produce real-world solutions to problems. As a result, the experience inspires and shapes the next generation of robotic specialists as well as introduces them to NASA and other robotic industry leaders.

The ten-week NASA Robotics Academy runs from June 5 through Aug. 11.

With this program, NASA continues the agency’s tradition of investing in the nation’s education programs. It is directly tied to the agency’s major educational goal of strengthening NASA’s and the nation’s future workforce. Through this and the agency’s other college and university programs, NASA will identify and develop the critical skills and capabilities needed to achieve the Vision for Space Exploration.