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What STEM concepts that you learned in grade-school do you still use in your job today?
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Noor Rashid is interning at JPL as a test engineer for the Mars 2020 mission

"Problem solving is key! Everything you do requires problem solving. As the lead Modal test engineer, I have to figure out how to get the Mars 2020 rover ready for testing, which includes where and how it will be tested. The tests will determine if the rover is ready to launch. I constantly need to create back-up plans or be able to quickly rectify a situation that is unexpected as this is the exact rover that will be going to space!"

Noor Rashid is interning at JPL as a test engineer for the Mars 2020 mission

September 12, 2018 | 10:46 a.m

Vladimir Arutyunov is a mechanical engineer at JPL who designs and tests robots for space

"Newton's Third Law: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When designing and testing robotic mechanisms, like arms, drills and wheels, it's important to know how forces flow through and between objects. If we don't understand how forces on the robot behave, we can't protect it from the environment – or from itself!"

Vladimir Arutyunov is a mechanical engineer at JPL who designs and tests robots for space

September 12, 2018 | 8:28 a.m

Rob Zellem is a scientist at JPL who studies the atmospheres of exoplanets

"In school, I learned about red- and blue-shifting, also known as Doppler shift, of sound waves. As an object, like an car, approaches you, its sound gets higher in pitch. As the car drives away from you, its sound gets lower in pitch. The same effect happens for light, since it also behaves like a wave. We can use this effect to find and measure the masses of exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system. We measure a star's light and look for its red- and blue-shifting, or wobbling back and forth, due to the gravitational tug of an exoplanet. - Photo credit: Christophe Marcadé / Caltech Astronomy"

Rob Zellem is a scientist at JPL who studies the atmospheres of exoplanets

September 12, 2018 | 8:28 a.m

Jason Kastner is the deputy flight system engineer for NASA's Europa Clipper mission

"In grade school, I was good at math and science. I was not good at writing down my work or being able to explain how I got an answer. After enough bad test grades for not showing my work, I started showing my work, and it eventually became second nature. At work, the ability to clearly explain my work and thinking supports the daily decisions required for designing a spacecraft, and convincing my co-workers and boss that it makes sense."

Jason Kastner is the deputy flight system engineer for NASA's Europa Clipper mission

September 12, 2018 | 8:28 a.m

Paolo Bellutta is a Mars rover driver at JPL

"Probably the most useful skills involve geometry. Most of the time we use trigonometry to determine the compass heading and distances to travel for Mars rovers, as these are the fundamental quantities the rover understands. Even if the rovers move on the surface of Mars, which resembles a sphere, we use geometry on a plane – except when dealing with rocks, where we also need to consider their height and, sometimes, their volume for example to determine their approximate weight on Mars."

Paolo Bellutta is a Mars rover driver at JPL

September 12, 2018 | 8:27 a.m

Rob Rosenberg is a data scientist at JPL who works on calibration of Earth science satellites

"In most data processing I do, I'm not using extremely sophisticated mathematics, but I'm programming computers to perform thousands of high-school level operations per second (mean, median, standard deviation, polynomials, ellipses, linear regression, etc.)"

Rob Rosenberg is a data scientist at JPL who works on calibration of Earth science satellites

September 12, 2018 | 8:27 a.m

Michael Russell is a research scientist at JPL trying to figure out how life got started

"Before starting any science or engineering project, I make sure I get the physics of the system right to the best of my ability. For me, this involves understanding electrical conduction, resistance and, while considering single-electron transfer, to be mindful of wave/particle duality."

Michael Russell is a research scientist at JPL trying to figure out how life got started

September 11, 2018 | 5:50 p.m

Cathy Lally is a staff assistant at JPL who provides support to NASA missions

"STEM concepts are not isolated; they are a part of every part of life and every subject in school. I use STEM concepts every day, even though my job is not as an engineer or scientist. Everyone in today's world needs to be STEM literate. Even though I studied philosophy and religion, I found that science and technology were a part of everything I did and studied."

Cathy Lally is a staff assistant at JPL who provides support to NASA missions

September 11, 2018 | 5:41 p.m

Amy Jo Dickinson is a business administrator with the Mars 2020 project

"Math! Attention to detail and accurate data are essential for forecasting, planning and reporting. All of these numbers affect budget and resource allocations. Not only does the math need to be on point, but also the ability to analyze the data and present it to upper management clearly and effectively are key."

Amy Jo Dickinson is a business administrator with the Mars 2020 project

September 11, 2018 | 5:38 p.m