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What Courses or Clubs Should I Enroll In?

What Courses or Clubs Should I Enroll In? Students from North Ridge Magnet School compete in an annual robotics competitin at JPL. Image credit: NASA/JPL

What courses should I take in school?

Middle school and high school students can start preparing now if they are interested in science and engineering degrees. You will want to take science, computer science and math courses.  Enroll in advanced science and math courses if your school offers them.

If you are in middle school, now is the best time for making plans.  Talk with your school’s guidance counselor about the courses that are probably required for admission to most colleges and universities that offer science and engineering degrees.  You can also search the Web to see what requirements individual colleges have.

The same applies if you are in high school. You may discover that you need to add some courses before you graduate if you are missing some of the requirements. Now would also be a good time to go to your school library, find a few college catalogs and see what courses are required for graduation in several engineering and science departments.

What can I do outside of school to follow up on my interests?

Lots of schools have robotics clubs, science clubs, computer clubs and more. Check these out and join them if they look fun. Some clubs take trips to places like JPL, where interesting science and engineering projects are happening. Sometimes, people who work in these places talk to students about how they got started in their own careers.

There are also nationwide organizations that sponsor competitions in science and robotics. (See the JPL Student Competitions page.) Museums, planetariums and organizations also offer after school or weekend opportunities, as well as summer camps, that focus on science and space.