I recently got wind of a new mentoring program called NASA G.I.R.L.S., organized by Women@NASA. The program is so new that they are still building their website, but I knew I just had to contact them to find out more! I was able to reach the NASA official responsible for this new project, Mamta Patel Nagaraja, who was enthusiastic about spreading the word about NASA G.I.R.L.S.
So here’s how it works. Eligible girls in grades 5-8 can apply to be selected in this program where they will be mentored one-on-one by a woman working at NASA! The mentor could be of any STEM profession and will be assigned randomly, though they may consider the girls’ application essays to find a good match. The girls will participate in a five-week online NASA lesson plan that will cover activities in each of the STEM fields. “For example, during Science week, the student may design an interstellar trip and discuss why she chose certain design specifications. During the engineering week, the student may design a robot hand or a mockup of the International Space Station from popsicle sticks, glue, and paper.” During those five weeks, the girls will be able to contact their Women@NASA mentor via video chat to get help on the assignments and ask whatever questions they like about STEM and working at NASA!
Of course, I had to ask if the girls could contact their mentor after the program was over.
[Read the rest of Ariane Coffin’s interview with the head of the new NASA G.I.R.L.S. program at GeekMom!]