JOPLIN, Mo. — Two area students are getting an out-of-this-world opportunity without ever leaving the Four States.

Ella Cheatham and Grant Baer are two interns at Eagle Picher Technologies in Joplin this summer.
The company makes batteries used in space by N.A.S.A. as well as the U.S. Department of Defense for a variety of weapons systems.

Cheatham graduated from Joplin High and goes to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, while Baer is a Webb City graduate now attending Missouri S&T in Rolla.

Both are majoring in aerospace engineering.

“I’ve actually done quite a bit since I’ve been here, and I’ve only been here for two weeks. So far, everyone is super nice and I’m learning a lot,” said Ella Cheatham, Eagle Picher Technologies Summer Intern.

“I helped Steven design a part and build something for the production line last summer and this summer I’m trying to get more involved with designing my own parts and trying to get more involved with the production line,” said Grant Baer, Eagle Picher Technologies Summer Intern.

Diego Jimenez is in charge of the internship program and says it can lead to a lot more than just good experience.

“I became part of the internship program with Eagle Picher in 2009 and I’ve hosted over a dozen interns of which 2 or 3 have become full-time Eagle Picher employees,” said Jimenez.

“I honestly didn’t know a lot about this company until I did some more research and I found out how cool it was and that it’s exactly what I want to be involved with because they do a lot of defense and aviation and obviously space,” said Cheatham.