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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Sunday, 19 August 2012
in Clean Fun

NASA Wraps up Summer STEM Programs for Girls

A new NASA program designed for 5th through 8th grade girls recently ended its five week pilot session Jdurham science studentthis month. NASA received over 1,600 applications and selected twenty-one girls from twelve states for the NASA Giving Initiative and Relevance to Learning Science (NASA GIRLS) course.

NASA GIRLS is a virtual mentoring program that paired the students with representatives for one-on-one activities without having to leave their homes thanks to the magic of the Internet.

“NASA GIRLS allows young students to work directly with women who successfully have established STEM careers," said NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver. "The program uses technology familiar to the young generation and allows NASA to share its mission in regions where there may not be a NASA center."

Online tools like Skype and Google Chat allowed the girls to complete STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) based lessons and activities with their mentors to inspire the girls to consider STEM careers when matriculating at their chosen colleges.

Sessions included:

-Mathematically calculating the shift of Earth's tilt caused by last year’s March earthquake in Japan.

-Computing the volume of SpaceX's Dragon capsule- the first commercial spacecraft to deliver supplies to the International Space Station in May.

-A challenge to build a robot hand or a Wright Brothers' model airplane together while the student and mentor were virtually connected.

NASA is thrilled with the outcome of their pilot session and will analyze the results with plans to increase the group’s number for a second round.

To learn more about the program and watch for news about the second round please visit the neon-hued (colors like magenta, teal, and yellow the commercial artist Lisa Frank would approve of) accented website:

In June and July NASA wrapped up another STEM based program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas called Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars or WISH.

WISH-camp NASA-STEMWISH shares the same goals as NASA GIRLS but does not provide one-on-one mentoring. Instead WISH brings high school juniors from around the country for an all expenses paid camp and group-mentoring,

After a rigorous application process that began in January and included writing two essays, a letter to their State Senator or Representative that will be forwarded by officials, completing eight lessons, and a final project, forty-eight young women were selected for a six day summer camp with Women@NASA mentors.

NASA hasn’t announced if there will be another two rounds of WISH camp but presumably the application process for 2013 will begin in January.

For more information about WISH please visit their website.

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.


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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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