Reston STEM Students Visit White House
Eight young women representing FCPS' GEMS Clubs are urged to follow their dreams.
On her last space mission, NASA Astronaut Catherine “Cady” Coleman — a 1978 graduate of Fairfax County Public Schools' Woodson High School — served as a flight engineer aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft.
Tuesday morning, she shared stories and video about her space adventures at a STEM event hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls. (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
“You can do anything you want,” Coleman told the crowd, which included eight young women from Dogwood Elementary School, Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School. The event debuted a Girls in STEM video featuring footage from girls who participated in the 2012 White House Science Fair.
The eight Reston attendees represented an informal network of FCPS’ After-School GEMS Clubs that support girls’ involvement in STEM. The Mid-Atlantic Girls Collaborative (MAGiC), which has funded several clubs’ projects, invited the girls to the White House.
The girls’ takeaway messages?
“Stay motivated,” said Bridget O’Boyle, an eighth grader at Hughes who is traveling to the NASA Space Camp in Alabama this summer.
South Lakes junior Alison Rubenstein said she learned to "find a mentor" to support you in your goals.
In addition to Coleman, panelists included Jocelyn Goldfein, Director of Engineering, Facebook; Jean Hernandez, President, Edmonds Community College; and Bianca Bailey, President, Howard University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders. The event moderator was EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
"Failure is normal,” said Goldfein. “You have to try something to see if it is innovative. Fail as fast as you can and keep going. It's an expected part of the process."
(To view the archived video, click here.)
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