Browsing Tag



Mars (And the Rest of Outer Space) Needs Women

As the number of young women studying in the overall STEM fields stays stubbornly low — and the quality of science education for both sexes seems to be falling — five leaders in space and tech came together to talk about the situation at the conference.

[ via Re/code ]


Efforts made to steer women, minorities to science careers

Echekki likens the problem to a pipeline “with many leaks diverting people of color – and under-represented groups in STEM, in general – from science and technologies fields.” Plugging those leaks will require “access to opportunities and resources for K-12, overcoming stereotypes of what STEM fields involve (and) misconceptions about the kinds of people who work in these fields,” providing incentives for students “to stay in STEM tracks in college and building resiliency in people who may find themselves isolated or labeled.”

[ via News and Observer ]


An Aerospace Engineer’s Top 8 Lessons for Women in Tech

There is something powerful in harnessing the strength that comes from surviving an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation. The key is to embrace those experiences and learn how to thrive in them. We are not defined by our experiences, but how we react to those experiences and the attitudes we choose to adopt. Transform tension into innovation, tackle challenge with an open mind, and take risks.

[ via The Next Women ]


Looking to the Stars for STEM-Learning Inspiration

So I was delighted when, earlier this year, my friend who works at Warner Bros. Pictures told me about an upcoming film starring Sandra Bullock as an engineer in the Sci-Fi film, Gravity, opening October 4. How perfect, I thought, to illuminate the power of STEM education by combining a strong female role model playing an engineer (Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant engineer on her first shuttle mission), with the natural wonder and awe that comes from images of outer space. Fresh out of the Venice Film Festival, Gravity is getting rave reviews.

[ via Wired ]


STEMinist Profile: Natalie Panek, Mission Systems Engineer

Natalie Panek

Mission Systems Engineer

MDA Space Missions

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
My career in STEM began with a dream to travel to space. I was always good at math and science, but loved the adventure involved with becoming an astronaut and was drawn to exploration. This was the deciding factor in pursuing mechanical and aerospace engineering degrees. I also love doing hands-on work and playing with hardware and technology, so engineering is a great fit!

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
I have had the opportunity to work on some amazing projects over the past few years. I’ve driven a solar-powered car across North America, got my pilot’s license, and skydived with Korea’s first Astronaut. I’ve interned at both NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center (working on reliability engineering) and NASA Ames Research Center (on a Mission to Mars!).

At my current job, I first started working as an Operations Engineer for the Next Generation Canadarm Project. The goal of this project was to build two new robotic arms to repair and service satellites that have broken components, or have run out of fuel. It is about being more conscious of what we are putting into space and thinking about sustainable exploration. Now I help support the robotics on the International Space Station.

I loved these projects because I was innovating for extreme environments and working with outgoing and dynamic peers. This type of environment gives you the confidence to want to change the world!

Role models and heroes:
My role models are the amazing women that I am able to interact with while pursuing a career in STEM; for example, my instructor when I got my pilot’s license, Athenia Jansen. She exuded confidence and passion, which I think carried her far in a male-dominated field. This is similar for Lt-Col. Maryse Carmichael, Commanding Officer of the Canadian Snowbirds.

Why do you loving working in STEM?
I love working in STEM because it is an opportunity to seek out unfamiliar situations and really challenge myself or push my limits. A curiosity for science, engineering, and technology can cultivate innovation and facilitates life long learning. STEM is a gateway to exploration, which emphasizes the intricate balance between human progress and an entire universe waiting for discovery.

Advice for future STEMinists?
My advice for future women in STEM is to dive head-on into challenging careers. Do not be afraid of risk and take on leadership roles in order to revolutionize what women can accomplish in challenging fields that can influence the foundations of our generation and the next. Also learning teamwork skills, competence, toughness, discipline, responsibility and confidence can really help foster innovation and drive what is possible.

Favorite website or app:
One of my favorite websites is of big mountain skier Christina Lustenberger:

She has a passion for the mountains, outdoors, and exploration. She is pushing the limits of women’s ski mountaineering. And the pictures on her blog are gorgeous!

Twitter: @nmpanek


Women at NASA manage novel hurricane mission

The increasing presence of women in management of science missions at NASA is exemplified by Marilyn Vasques and Bernadette Luna, both members of the Earth Science Project Office at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and key participants in recent and on-going NASA airborne missions to study hurricanes.

[ via ]