Here is part 2 from my experience on the red carpet with rocket stars. I will share with you new STEM programs I learned of and the amazing STEM projects lead by the youth of today interspersed with displays that I found inspiring!
First, cool new programs- I have blogged about Mavericks before but in case you did not see their nifty video where they launch payloads into high altitude check outhttp://science.kqed.org/quest/video/amateur-rocketeers-reach-for-the-stars/
You can also find scholarship opportunities with the astronaut foundation (the reason for this fabulous gala!) at http://astronautscholarship.org
As far as cool projects, they covered a wide spectrum of degrees (mechanical engineering to aeronautics to acoustics) and areas of application, from the human body to hospitals, here is where our future is headed! One young lady is working on "human body on a chip: producing micro fluidic tissue scaffolds" with the goal of replicating human physiological systems for safer drug and vaccine testing.
Another women is studying the Kirkendell effect. This is where gaps in bonded materials occur, traction ally, this means less efficiency in the materials desired purpose but she is looking at these gaps in a new way, using this phenomenon to create 3D hollow woven structures, these micro structures may aid structure and heating, which is pretty cool (or hot).
Another women is studying the mechanical design of the InSight Mars lander to reveal the mysteries of terrestrial planet evolution by studying seismology, heat flux, and meteorite impacts. Pretty impressive! What is amazing is that all those women were young students, showing your ideas, knowledge and passions can be noticed and make a difference today as well as in shaping our future.
There was another woman who served on the board of the astronaut scholars, she has her own engineering consultant company http://www.quietlymakingnoise.com where she helps literally design a better world, such as hospitals with reduced noise so patients will heal faster.
Highlighting the importance of diversity was one guy studying diversity platforms, creating tools from reliability engineering to assist decision-makers in tracing the impact of force diversity on risk and reliability. I was very impressed with these great projects and the people behind them, I am excited for the future and convinced that we must harness diversity, girl power, math, and more for the incredible journey of life.
Whatever you study or do, let us go forward and err on the side of awesome!