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Could you please provide summer project ideas for rising senior interested in Astronautical/Mechanical Engineering?
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I am a rising senior. In reviewing my extra-curricular profile, I found that I need additional tier 1/tier 2 type activities to enhance my chances of getting admitted at elite schools. Could you provide some ideas of projects I could work on this summer if I'm interested in pursuing an engineering major with focus on aeronautical/mechanical engineering?

extracurriculars

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Hey! The best thing to do when trying to find activities related to your major is to come up with your own research/activity and implement it into your community in some unique fashion. Given covid-19 that does limit some of your options, but there are definitely ways around it. Here are a few ideas that I can think of.

1. Research paper: If you show that you have a given passion for a certain subject that really looks great on college applications. reach out to your teachers, and see if there are any places that will take in research papers. It does not have to be super extensive, but a great initiative to show that you have a given interest. I'm sure that if you research some local business/places, there will be places you can submit your research paper too, maybe even for an internship.

2. Elementary school kids: One of the best projects you could do is to reach out to elementary school kids to teach them about your interested major. Think of creative ways to host a "space day," or "engineering day." (just a few ideas, obv it will have to be a little different due to covid/school closures). It can be as simple as talking to kids in your neighborhood, or you could host a mini summer camp (like 2 hours a day) that focuses on some aspect of aeronautical/mechanical engineering. You could also see if Zoom classes with kids will work out too. There are so many options with this, so definitely research into this.

3. Blog: Blogs are great ways to show you're truly passionate about a given topic. Make your blog interactive, and specific to that certain target people of "engineering." You could reach out to people already in the engineering pathway, and ask for interviews etc. In addition, you could write articles about things that are going on in the engineering world. The opportunities with blogging are endless. Writing articles are also a great way to get work possible published.

4. youtube x ad revenue: You could make a youtube account talking about basic things about space/engineering and then donate the ad revenue to any type of organization. A lot of people tend to watch videos etc. when they see that the money is going towards a certain cause. With all the current events going on right now in the world, there is definitely a platform for that.

5. The Odyssey: This is kinda like the blog idea, but a little different. The odyssey, if you are not aware, is an online platform where people write articles/essay of whatever they wish. You can either write in a community, or be a free standing writer. I would recommend you to start writing articles given a specific interest (for example, I write articles on the Odyssey pertaining to mental health/positivity) It's a great way to flow your ideas down, and they get published online for anyone to see.

There are just a few ideas I have. This is such a cool major, took me a while to come up with these! I also recommend just to go on NASAs website, and some top engineering colleges. Random ideas may just pop up just by looking at their sites! Good luck, hope something works out!