A Peek Into Our Programming: Rocketry Camp, Women in STEM Wednesday
This June, we are gearing up for our Summer Rocketry Camp, a free, 2-week VIRTUAL Rocket Program for rising 6 - 8th grade girls, those who identify with girlhood and non-binary individuals. Participants will build, design, and launch their own rockets—during in-person, socially-distant field trips— as well as gain leadership skills and build confidence in STEM in preparation for our Junior Mentor Program. In addition to building their own rockets, young scientists will participate in astronaut physical training, design moon-based facilities and meet aerospace scientists during what will most certainly be an inspiring career panel. Our staff has been busy packing Rocketry Camp bags and distributing these materials to our young scientists at home, and we can’t wait to kick off our first session in July!
Women in STEM Wednesday
In anticipation of our Summer Rocketry Camp, our Women in STEM Wednesday series has been highlighting scientists who have contributed to further our understanding of space, including Annie Easley, Nancy Roman, Mary Jackson, Dani LeBlanc, Maya Nasr, and Sally Ride. Read more about these scientists and their groundbreaking work below, and stay tuned across our social media platforms as we continue featuring influential women working in the space industry.
Annie Easley broke gender and racial barriers during her 34 year tenure with NASA. While initially a computational researcher, she eventually became a computer programmer, working on battery technologies that were subsequently used to launch rockets to the moon, Saturn, and, in 2018, Mars.
Nancy Roman was the first woman to hold an executive position at NASA, and during her revolutionary career, she pioneered the science of space telescopes. Her work led to the launch of several more space telescopes, including the Hubble Space telescope which remains in orbit today.
Mary Jackson was the first African-American woman engineer at NASA. With segregation still in effect, she had to fight for special permission to complete her engineering coursework. After accepting an invitation to become a NASA engineer, she spent the next two decades authoring several papers critical to her field. After stepping down as an engineer, she became Langley’s Federal Women’s Program Manager, where she hired and promoted women who excelled at NASA as mathematicians, engineers, and scientists.
Dani LeBlanc is the Director of Immersive Theaters and Programs at the Museum of Science and leads the strategic programming and vision for the Planetarium, its infrastructure, and its award-winning staff of educators, producers, and artists. Her original feature shows have been licensed by hundreds of venues across five continents, translated into dozens of languages, and screened at international festivals.
Maya Nasr is a PhD student and researcher in the Aerospace Engineering department at MIT. Her work on the Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE) for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover mission helps provide NASA with crucial data on the use of oxygen generators to provide breathable oxygen on Mars.
Sally Ride is recognized as the first American woman and member of the LGBTQ+ community to travel to space while serving as flight engineer on the Challenger STS-7. With this flight, she also became and remains the youngest American astronaut to have traveled to space, at only 32 years old. She was passionate about involving young girls and women in STEM, as is the legacy of her non-profit, called Sally Ride Science.