Skip to main content

My First Gig Speaking on Behalf of NASA!

Last week I had an opportunity to represent NASA; I gave a presentation at Rice University for a Physics Camp for girls! I probably spent way to much time preparing, but duty was calling...I thought back to my high school years and how much I would have soaked in someone coming to talk from NASA. I talked to them about my journey - eventually ending up at my dream job. I told them how I use physics everyday in my job, and finally, some thoughts for the future - especially if they were interested in an engineering career. 

I tried to stress the importance of mentors - "find a mentor and tell them your goals," I said. "There will be tough times in college, and you may even contemplate quitting, but your mentors will remind you why you started in the first place." I even offered them my contact information in case I could be any help!

I know they won't remember the physics of Control Moment Gyroscopes, but I hope they remember that girls can make it in engineering - and not just make it, but thrive. Heck, they can fly the International Space Station (sorry, I'm still just so dang proud of that one ;-). If engineering is really what they want to do then it doesn't matter what the statistics say about men vs. women - and better yet, they have an opportunity to sway the statistics the other way! 

I'm so excited for these girls, they have an amazing future ahead and I'm so thankful that I got to be a small sliver of it!




PS: if you want me to come represent NASA at your event, submit an application via NASA's Speaker's Bureau and request me as the speaker!!

Comments

  1. SO COOL! If I was still teaching middle school I would do everything in my power to get you to speak. I still am a little in awe that I know someone doing such incredible things. Now I'm going to cross my fingers that my daughter will want to go to physics camp someday.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Who has two thumbs and loves comments? Nerdy April!!! Type one out and hit publish!

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution?

On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there is b…

Hot OJT

Last week I had the chance to mentor a newly certified ADCO trainee - the NASA process is called "Hot On-The-Job-Training", or Hot OJT. What makes it "hot" you ask? Well, essentially I am hands off - he is sitting at the console, working all the plan reviews and updates, making calls to other flight controllers and to the flight director, reacting to anomalies and preparing material for the shift handover. My job is to act as the fault tolerance - a backup ADCO of sorts.

Tuesday was his last official day and by Wednesday morning he was in the backroom sending commands to ISS in preparation for the docking of a three-person Soyuz.


The beauty of this system is the gradual buildup in responsibility. There is a subtle shift from student, to subject matter expert, to fresh operations trainee to advanced trainee and finally to certification and real-time operations flight controller - the process takes two years on average and is considered by many to be enough specializ…

Dolla-betes

Healthcare is such a tricky subject. Ironically, it seems the conversation has shifted away from health CARE in favor of divisive politics with a healthy side of cash. But I'm here to tell you there are real people dealing with real diseases behind all those numbers. And with a laser focus on the rising cost of insulin lately and advocacy groups like #insulin4all making waves, it prompted me to take a look at my own T1D cost breakdown.

**Please keep in mind I have (pretty good!) private insurance through my husband's employer and our income allows us to absorb these costs without pinching too many pennies. We have also been graced with good health (diabetes notwithstanding) and rarely order any prescriptions outside of those for my T1D. But its clear only a slight shift in this delicate equation can make for a dire situation.

Here's what my out-of-pocket looks like to cover type 1 diabetes annually:


The numbers above reflect simply the "baseline operating costs"…
01 09 10