The NASA Explorer Schools project invited K-12 students across the United States to chat with three outstanding women. They answered questions about pursuing careers in science and engineering during a live video webchat on Tuesday March 29, 2011.
A video of the webchat is now available at the bottom of this page.
Alvarez works as an engineer in the propulsion systems department at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Image Credit: NASA
Johnston currently is working as a dynamic analyst for the space systems department in the Stress and Dynamics Analysis Branch at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Image Credit: NASA
Abney's work focuses on carbon dioxide reduction and loop closure technologies relating to atmosphere revitalization for manned space flight at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Image Credit: NASA
With passion and courage, women have taught us that when we band together to advocate for our highest ideals, we can advance our common well-being and strengthen the fabric of our nation. Each year during Women's History Month, we remember and celebrate women from all walks of life who have shaped this great nation. This year, in accordance with the theme, "Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet," we pay particular tribute to the efforts of women in preserving and protecting the environment for present and future generations. (President Barak Obama, March 3, 2009)
In celebration of National Women's History Month, the NASA Explorer Schools project invited all K-12 students to watch and participate in a one-hour-long NASA career panel video webchat. This year's panelists were three outstanding women who have chosen to pursue careers in science and engineering. These women all work at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Please check back at a later time for a transcript and/or video of this chat.
Alvarez grew up in West New York, N.J., and joined NASA in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Penn State University. She enjoys seeing hardware tested and, in some cases, actually flown in space. She says, "It really makes you feel like you've achieved something!"
Alvarez works as an engineer in the Propulsion Systems Department. Her work is on liquid rocket engines where she runs performance analysis, reviews test data and drawings, and works on the fabrication of rocket engine hardware. She's worked on the space shuttle main engine, the J2X engine, and the lunar lander descent engine.
Mallory M. Johnston
Johnston began her career with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center as a co-op student in the turbomachinery branch within the propulsion department. As a child living in Columbus, Miss., the planets and the stars fascinated her. She says, "I never thought in a million years I would work for NASA. Who does that?" After moving to Tennessee in the seventh-grade, her calculus teacher encouraged her to go into engineering. He said, "You're a girl, and they need more girls in engineering." After graduating from Tennessee Technological University in the spring of 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and minors in chemistry and biology, she started full-time at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in July of 2010 in the space systems department in the Stress and Dynamic Analysis Branch.
Johnston currently is working as a dynamic analyst for the space systems department in the Stress and Dynamics Analysis Branch. She reports, "With being a new employee in a very complicated field, I am still learning a lot about dynamics and how they apply to space systems. I am being trained to be more of an expert in the field of low-frequency dynamics and how they apply to transportation load environments, launch environments for a space vehicle and satellites, and environments seen by the International Space Station."
› Meet Mallory M. Johnston
Morgan B. Abney
Dr. Morgan B. Abney graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2003 with a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering. She continued her education at the University of Kentucky where she was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering in 2007. Immediately following graduation, Dr. Abney was employed as a Development Engineer by Lexmark International in Lexington, KY. In September 2008, Dr. Abney accepted a position at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. Dr. Abney's work focuses on carbon dioxide reduction and loop closure technologies relating to atmosphere revitalization for manned space flight.
NASA Explorer Schools Registration
If you're a K-12 educator in the U.S. or a U.S. territory and haven't registered yet for the NASA Explorer Schools project, take a few minutes and complete the NES registration form to become part of NASA's exciting K-12 gateway to the future.