Recently STEMconnector teamed up with NASA for a program called Day of Design® Shooting Stars. This program provides education and mentoring to students about career possibilities at NASA, bringing STEM at NASA to students of all ages. The Day of Design program helps inform students of future STEM careers by connecting them to STEM professionals, real-world challenges, and project-based learning.
“What a great idea for NASA team members to interact with students during the pandemic and provide the kind of role model mentorship so badly needed,” said Michael Druckman, Executive Chair, Schools That Can. “We’re thrilled to have schools from across the country in the Schools That Can network engage with such a meaningful, dynamic opportunity.”
Featuring extraordinary female visionaries including guest speaker Tessa Rundle, a spacesuit life support system engineer at NASA, Rundle spoke about her work on the NASA spacesuits and the amazing career opportunities at NASA. Dr. Vemitra White, a STEM Education Specialist with NASA also shared with students her journey to NASA, and walked through how to identify constellations using a start finder map. The four premieres and three live sessions reached 11,000 students in 30 schools.
“Listening to Dr. White speak and share her story and knowledge was such a gift to our school community,” said Kelly Ann Sasssone, a K-12 educator from California. “I loved her energy, vibrant smile, and honesty about all that she had to share. I’m confident her time today touched many of our students in ways that we may never know, but I’m sure will lead to incredible outcomes. “
Another goal of the program is to specifically connect students to female scientists making an impact in space and featured a series of virtual events providing education and mentoring to young students about career possibilities at NASA, with the first of these series launching in March 2021 in honor of Women’s History Month.
“Women are making history every day at NASA,” said Kris Brown, deputy associate administrator of NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. “Through our partnership with STEMconnector we aim to attract girls into STEM, increase awareness of opportunities for students at NASA and further support our shared passion of advancing women in STEM.”
STEMconnector’s CEO Dr. Jo Webber is especially excited about the possibilities of this partnership for the future.“We are living in exciting times – we have just seen NASA successfully land a rover on Mars, after traveling 290 million miles to get there. To try to put that into some kind of perspective the circumference of Earth is approx. 24 thousand miles” said Dr. Jo Webber, FRSC CEO of STEMconnector. “We are thrilled to be working with NASA to bring the brilliance of STEM to schools across America.”
Designed for K-12 and post-secondary schools, replays of these virtual events can be found on the STEMconnector YouTube Channel.