By Kalwinder Kaur
NASA Giving Initiative and Relevance to Learning Science (NASA GIRLS) is a pilot mentoring program focused on encouraging girls to pursue their careers in science and technology. Around 21 girls from 12 states extending from New York to Hawaii studying in grades 5-8 have successfully completed this program.
NASA GIRLS is the first program in which girls are teamed up with NASA female mentors from the Women@NASA program via online video programs. Participants were opted from over 1,600 applications.
The mentoring sessions include training in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The last session features on implementing one of the STEM subjects to two real-world events. The girls were able to mathematically calculate the shift of Earth's tilt that resulted from the 2011 Japan earthquake. In addition, the volume of SpaceX's Dragon capsule was also evaluated.
The program also features practical learning. For instance, an engineering lesson required the girls and their mentors to construct a robot hand or a model airplane of Wright Brothers while virtually connected.
NASA GIRLS focus on commercially available technology that ensures reliable mentoring in STEM subjects that promotes better perspectives in science and engineering. Data from Girl Scouts Research Institute states that female mentors are vital while young girls intend carrying out advanced math and science courses. Most of the NASA GIRLS mentors offered post-program guidance for their mentees. This extended relationship will foster bringing advanced career choices to the lives of young girls.
NASA will assess the pilot year of the program’s results, through which several girls can have access in the second round.