According to Scott, his lifelong dream was to visit NASA. “I never imagined that I would attend as a guest to support science careers and education,” Scott said. “How cool is that?”
The first session of the Diva Design Series challenged the students with designing appropriate fashion for life on Mars. Scott coached the future scientists on fashion design techniques while NASA space suit design engineer, Heather Paul, and Space Center Houston’s science performer, “Rad Rhonda,” gave presentations on environmental factors that will impact life on the Red Planet.
The Diva Design Series, an all-inclusive program sponsored by Schlumberger, was developed to promote interest among middle school girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The students were given time sheets and task lists as well as deadlines upon arrival and were rewarded with fashion wages at the end of their work day.
“The program does more than inspire these young ladies in science careers,” said Dr. Melanie Johnson, Director of Education for Space Center Houston, “it also gives them the opportunity to integrate soft skills such as time management and work ethics.”
The first event of the three month series allowed the students to participate as space suit engineers for the day, while learning technical and practical applications. The middle school students, who represent the Aldine, La Marque and Houston independent school districts, will attend remaining sessions on Space Culinary Arts in April and the Psychological Effects of Colors in May.
Research reveals that there is a shortage of women in STEM careers. According to a 2010 study by the American Association of University Women, “girls are less likely than boys to interpret their academic success in math and science as an indication that they have the skills necessary to become successful engineers, physicists, or computer scientists.”