Monthly Archives

July 2015


1000 Female STEM Mentors Inspiring 1000 Girls

29 July, 2015
1000 GIRLS, 1000 FUTURES

1000 GIRLS, 1000 FUTURES

Who inspired you when you were younger? Your teacher? Your parents? If you’re a student, who inspires you now to make those difficult decisions about your future? 1000 girls in high schools around the world are about to get the chance to be inspired and ask their questions to 1000 women in STEM through the impactful 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures program,  an incredible new initiative from  the Global STEM Alliance (GSA). The GSA is ‘an international initiative of more than 90 partners and 50 countries—a collaboration of governments, corporations, educational institutions, and nongovernmental organizations—working together to assure the next the generation of STEM innovators’. The program is currently calling for female mentors in STEM fields GLOBALLY to sign up to the program, which will run from September 2015-September 2016. As having been a mentor myself for girls, I can tell you that it’s extremely rewarding and means a lot to each and every girl that you can impact, a reason why I started Rocket Women. Girls that sign up to the program will be able to directly contact a successful woman currently working in a STEM field to mentor them, along with an entire network of mentors and mentees globally!

If you’re a women working in a STEM field and would like to make a meaningful impact to the future of a girl, SIGN UP!

If you’re a girl considering a STEM career but don’t quite know how, SIGN UP!

Girls decide at the age of 11 to move away from sciences, making the work of this program critical to inspire these girls around the world. Essentially it’ll provide them with tangible female role models, allowing them to speak to someone who has already achieved career  success in their STEM field and understands that they’re make the hardest decisions in their education. The numbers speak for themselves. Only one in five UK A-level physics students are female, a figure that has not improved in 20 years. STEM subjects also accounted for 35% of the higher education qualifications achieved by women in 2010/11, a decrease since 2006. This program and others are increasingly important to show the next generation of girls that there is a bright and exciting future for them in science!

Astronauts, Inspirational women

New Video Shows Dr.Rhea Seddon Being Selected By NASA As One Of The First 6 Female Astronauts

27 July, 2015

A fascinating new video was posted online this week showing Dr.Rhea Seddon being told by a TV presenter in 1978 that she had been selected by NASA as one of the first 6 female astronauts for the agency. After 15 years of NASA selecting solely male astronauts, Dr.Margaret Rhea Seddon and her 5 colleagues made history as NASA’s first female astronauts (15 years after the Valentina Tereshkova flew as the first woman in space), chosen from 1500 applicants. She went on to become the 5th American woman in space, flying as a mission specialist on STS-51-D on 12th April 1985. Dr.Seddon completed a medical doctorate and was working as a surgical resident prior to being selected by NASA.

The First 6 Female NASA Astronauts Selected In 1978
From L-R: Shannon W. Lucid, Margaret “Rhea” Seddon, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Judith A. Resnik, Anna L. Fisher and Sally K. Ride. [AirportJournals]

When asked by the presenter what she hoped to achieve in space, Dr.Seddon replied with, “I’m interested to see how humans react physiologically to space, how women react physiologically to space and to see how man’s going to cope with living off of this planet.” The presenter then went on to ask, “Do you think you can co-exist in that cockpit with two men?”, a question that shows how far women have come in STEM fields to prove their equality in the 40 years since this was aired. Dr.Seddon pauses and calmly replies with, “I think probably so, I’m used to working primarily with men in my field of surgery, so I think it might be more difficult for me to work with a number with a number of women than to working with men. I’m used to working with men.” Since the first 6 female astronauts were selected in 1978, NASA has gone on to fly 45 female US astronauts, with the most recent astronaut class selected being 50% female!

Inspirational women, Science Spotlight

The Untold Story of the New Horizons Mission Team

13 July, 2015

The Women Working on the New Horizons Mission.
Front from left to right: Amy Shira Teitel, Cindy Conrad, Sarah Hamilton, Allisa Earle, Leslie Young, Melissa Jones, Katie Bechtold, Becca Sepan, Kelsi Singer, Amanda Zangari, Coralie Jackman, Helen Hart. Standing, from left to right: Fran Bagenal, Ann Harch, Jillian Redfern, Tiffany Finley, Heather Elliot, Nicole Martin, Yanping Guo, Cathy Olkin, Valerie Mallder, Rayna Tedford, Silvia Protopapa, Martha Kusterer, Kim Ennico, Ann Verbiscer, Bonnie Buratti, Sarah Bucior, Veronica Bray, Emma Birath, Carly Howett, Alice Bowman. Not pictured: Priya Dharmavaram, Sarah Flanigan, Debi Rose, Sheila Zurvalec, Adriana Ocampo, Jo-Anne Kierzkowski. [NASA]

Tomorrow (July 14) at 7:49 am EDT we see a dwarf planet up-close for the first time, but behind this historic achievement is a team of brilliant, hard-working women. The New Horizons mission will fly-by Pluto tomorrow after travelling through the Solar System for over 9 years, allowing the world to learn about this icy dwarf planet during it’s 30,800 miles per hour (49,600 kilometers per hour) flyby. However the story that most people will not hear is of the mission team, with the flight team comprised by 25% women, potentially making it the NASA mission with highest number of women staffers, including many scientists and engineers. These women have dedicated their careers and years of their lives to this mission, to gain unique data from the seven instruments aboard New Horizons and gain an unprecedented insight into Pluto and it’s largest moon, Charon, in particular. The team are working to learn about their composition and the potential thin atmosphere that’s shared between them.

Alice Bowman, New Horizons Mission Operations Manager (MOM), On Console [Twitter]

Moreover Alice Bowman, New Horizons Mission Operations Manager (MOM) and group supervisor of the Space Department’s Space Mission Operations Group, made history as the first female Mission Operations Manager (MOM) at  Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). When reading about the novel scientific discoveries gained by the instruments aboard New Horizons this week, make sure to remember the dedication of the women behind the mission.