Fall 2017: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab
The Santa Clarita Valley AAUW STEM STARS program is an annual program that began in October 2010 to provide educational opportunities and field trip experiences to Tech Trek alumni and other girls in the 8th through 12th grades. These young women exhibit an interest in exploring education choices and career opportunities in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
The members of STEM Stars are contacted monthly about field trips. Attendance at past field trips has ranged from 10 to 20 girls.
AAUW members are welcome to participate in the program and join the committee. Both drivers and chaperones are needed for the field trips.
Photos from Past Events:
Sixteen Stem Stars enjoyed a day of discovery on a field trip to Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center.
STEM Stars spent an afternoon with local dentist, Dr. Kim Rosen. The girls were treated to a tour of her offices, learned about the various careers in dentistry and the pros and cons of owning your own business. With the help of some brave volunteers, several girls got the opportunity to mix the material and actually create dental impressions which are used to create mouth guards, whitening trays, retainers, crowns, bridges, veneers, dentures, and accurate models, among other things.
Twenty-six Stem Stars had a private visit on January 11 at the College of the Canyons MakerSpace. The Space holds laser cutters, 3D printers, wood working and metal working tools, and materials to make electronic circuitry.
April 2018 – Advanced Bionics
Fifteen STEM Stars toured Advanced Bionics, the local manufacturer of cochlear implants. Cochlear implants, simply put, can make deaf people hear. What an inspiring trip!
Michael Vaughan, director of the talented engineering team that supports production, was very generous with his time. We saw each step of the manufacturing process and the careful quality controls.
Then, Joan Oexmann, Product Development Audiologist, took us to the training room and explained her role and her career path. With cochlear implants, users often need more than six months of adjustments until they can hear as expected and audiologists need special training. Joan is the audiologist who develops these procedures and trains the Advanced Bionics Audiologist team to train audiologists around the world!
The girls were very interested and asked a lot of questions. A big thanks to Rossana Blanco who organized the trip, and chaperones Jenewyn Van Wie, Sonja Wendt, Rossana, and our coordinator extraordinaire Diane Bartley.
December 2017 – NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena CA
The eighteen STEM Stars attending the December field trip already knew that JPL sent rovers to Mars. The field trip gave them the opportunity to learn more about the rovers, about missions to other planets in the solar system, and about Earth observing instruments.
They toured the historic Mission Control building and the Mars Yard where maneuvers for robotic vehicles on Mars are practiced. They also visited the laregest clean room west of the Mississippi where many of JPL’s spacecraft are built.
April 2017 – Boston Scientific Corporation
The Valencia facility builds products for the Neuromodulation Division. They develop, design and manufacture Implantable Pulse Generators (IPGs), used to stimulate the spinal cord to eliminate neuropathic pain in patients.
SCV School Food Services Agency – The girls learned about nutrition basics and food safety. They observed that nutrition specialists, dietitians and chefs, utilize chemistry and math daily in their jobs. They also prepared a great lunch for everyone.