Saturday, December 17, 2011

Neil deGrasse Tyson -- AMA on Reddit

I know this isn't exactly advice, but Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of my ALL TIME favorite physicists and scientists that I look up to. He had an "ask me anything" thread on Reddit a while ago and he has a second one today! I think it's over now, but it's still pretty awesome to read his insight on all the questions asked.

Click here to go to the thread

I'll post something more on topic later :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

GE Channel

I found the GE channel on Youtube, and I noticed some things about the videos...
  1. In order to trust the engineers/doctors/machine designers they need to be male. (Look at the Healthcare Video)
  2. The aerospace video makes it look like "it's a guy thing."
  3. You see a total lack of females. (Except in this video) 

Personally, I dislike this video.  It never mentions her education, and she sounds like she doesn't know what she's talking about.  It doesn't make us females look very smart...(even though she is).  I don't like the way they did this video.  

What do you think?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Submit a Question!

So I created a page to have you send your questions about STEM.  (The link is above!) I will probably be the one answering back, but if I don't have experience on the subject, I will definitely find the right person :-)

Go ahead! Ask anything! :-)

Where are all my Girl Friends?

There have been numerous times where I walk into a lecture hall, and I'm the only female and only person under....40 (to be generous).  Sometimes I just want a girlfriend to go and hang out with me in a cool, technology lecture....

Where have all the girls gone? Is it the lack of social environment that turns away girls? 

I feel, if you created groups to bring girls together, and show them their would greatly help.

SWE helps me....I get to go to girls, just like me, who are just as smart (if not smarter), just as funny (if not funnier), AND THEY UNDERSTAND MY MATH PROBLEMS!

Are these the problems with STEM? Are there not enough social outlets where the ratio is good enough? 

Just Do IT!

I've had a new philosophy lately: Don't NOT do something if other people aren't willing to go with you. 
I know that's a lot of negatives...But basically, if you wanna do something, do it! 

There have been too many instances where I miss out because one of my friends didn't want to go. 

And you know what? I've learned to become a much more independent, self-sustaining person because of it. 

What has this philosophy allowed me to do?

  • See an awesome modern dance show
  • Becomes an awesome modern dancer (haha, awesome, yeah right...)
  • Become a female engineer
  • Live in Dallas, Texas
  • See a bunch of movies and ballets (you don't talk during them anyway)
  • Obtain 6 letters of recommendation...and counting...
  • Learn about cool technologies (seminars and poster sessions)
  • Live, work, and play in Washington DC
  • Start a blog! 
  • Make new friends (I call them "bus friends."  I currently have about 4.)
This list can go on and on... Now that I think of it, most of these things are by myself. (I know that sounds really sad, but I've met a LOT of cool people on the way!) I would regret NOT doing these things. 

It takes a bold person to do these things...but being bold for the simple things will make it easier for the complicated ones...BE BOLD...BE AWESOME. (I'm behind you all the way!)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The world comes around...

The other day, I got to talk with the some members of the Informal Education Office at NASA GSFC....and you know what's funny?

So you remember that female engineer with the Mars Land Rovers that inspired me OH SO MANY YEARS AGO? Maybe this will jog your memory...

Well, I think I found her again! Someone told me about someone very similar....I think it's her...Let's cross our fingers :-D

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Yesterday, I saw a fantastic talk at NASA GSFC.  It was about creating Miniature Spacecraft.  Being honest, my first thought panned over to Cloverfield when those spiders were crawling off of the monster....which would go crawl on other planets, preparing the way.  Talk about a SciFi Movie...

So, I was initially skeptical.  However, these small circuits can be spread across space! Let Zachary talk about it...

How cool is this project?! You can have your name on a chip in space?! Sign me up!

Here, he basically talks about the scientific data you can collect within the higher atmosphere or even for other types of signals.  It's definitely in the development stage, but I think there are great possibilities.  

For instance: you could prototype your own circuit board, like you do with SparkFun (it's easy/cheap circuits for you less-geeky peeps ;-) ), and have it transmit a message back to you with, oh-I-don't-know, it's GPS coordinates, the acceleration of the planet it's near, or potentially get atmospheric data from the debris it's flying through.  

I can see myself now...throwing* my mini-chip to the sun to evaluate temperatures there...all by myself...

Think of the possibilities....

*BTW I know this it totally unrealistic, but HEY! I can dream...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Network, Network, Network!

One advantage to being a female in engineering....everyone knows who you are.  They simply pick you out of the crowd.

Now that you have this information, you have two options:

  1. Get to know everyone
  2. Shy away, and be known as that-weird-girl-who-doesn't-talk-to-anyone.
I'm not trying to scare anyone away! However, networking has its advantages (and disadvantages, but we're not going to talk about them here.). 

The cool thing about being social is that you have a ton of engineering friends.  I bring this up for a couple reasons: two days ago, I had a younger engineering friend that needed help with some class....(I have little shame in doing this) but I emailed my friend (who is extremely smart and could definitely help my younger friend) and asked if they could help.  And they did. 

I know a large number of my friends (people in my class) are willing to help other people.  A couple things happen though:
  • the more-senior students don't socialize with less-senior students
  • the less-senior students are afraid to ask
  • the less-senior students don't socialize more-senior students
So there! It breaks the connection, and all student miss out. So three lessons:
  1. Have no shame in asking for help (unless you're being annoying....but chances say you haven't asked yet)
  2. Join Clubs! Get involved in a mentoring program. Eg. Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has a great program to create those connections between more-senior and less-senior students.  It doesn't cost any money to network!
  3. Really get to know your peers. They will start to respect you, and you will respect them.  Help them when they need help.  But make them feel good (and smart) by referring them to other people.
Hope this was helpful!