Space Foundation Supports Girls' STEM Education
In keeping with its mission to "advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity," the Space Foundation believes that future success in space depends on an educated workforce, and now is the time to build that workforce through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Especially important is the need to interest young girls in space-related careers.
The Space Foundation expanded its efforts to interest girls in STEM education by participating in this year's Cool Science Festival, held at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), Sept. 16-18. The Space Foundation presented two workshops to more than 200 Colorado Springs middle school girls at a specially targeted Girls' STEM event on Sept. 17.
Space Foundation Space Education Specialist Allison Reilly led the workshops on thermal protective systems with a hands-on project where the girls used sheets of aluminum and copper mesh to create heat shields for their simulated spacecraft. Reilly then used a blowtorch to test the effectiveness of the shields. She also shared with them her experiences from her previous position as director of education with the Space Center Houston. She told the students about female engineers she met who designed materials for use in space. "Maybe one day one of you will be a space engineer," she told the girls.
Pictured: Space Foundation space education specialist Allison Reilly helps students design thermal protective systems for simulated spacecraft at the UCCS Girls STEM event.