This is a great question, start by looking up projects that allow citizen scientists to help out. This is a great way to get experience and possibly get published as well. Here are three links to some possible ideas. You might be able to virtually volunteer or there may be clubs or groups in New Jersey. Check out these links:
There are other opportunities as well:
https://njsgc.rutgers.edu/new-jersey-space-grant-consortium-programs Here is a link to NASA opportunities in New Jersey!
You have one of the largest planetariums in the world in your city. Check it out and see if you can volunteer there. Maybe you can help with a program or research for this center.
Victoria recommends the following next steps:
- Check out the links above
- Talk to the staff about citizen science projects to start out with.
- Consider creating a science project on your own and publish it through a blog or the planetarium