Space Foundation Supports STEM Education for Girls
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sep. 17, 2010) -- 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 STEM education.
In that spirit the Space Foundation presented two workshops at the Girls' STEM event at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) on Sept. 17. More than 200 Colorado Springs middle school girls attended the event, which aspired to stimulate the girls' interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Space Foundation Space Education Specialist Allison Reilly led two workshops on thermal protective systems with a hands-on project for the girls using 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 girls' 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 a student affix her simulated spacecraft to a clamp before using a blowtorch to test its thermal protective system.