NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

In recognition of the national event, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will participate in the fifth annual "Take Our Daughters to Work"day on Thursday, April 24, allowing both the daughters and sons of JPL employees to spend the day at the Laboratory watching their parent at work.

News media are invited to cover the morning video introduction and greeting in von Krmn Auditorium. After that, the children and their parents will spend the morning in their offices. From 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., the children and parents will be able to visit JPL's Mars Yard, a simulated Martian surface that is used for rover development and testing. From 1:30 p.m. to 3:45p.m., presentations from JPL professionals will be held in von Krmn Auditorium.

Children will spend the majority of the day learning about their parent's jobs and how they fit into the Laboratory's overall mission. A "parents tool kit" has been designed to make the most out of the children's day at JPL. It offers ways parents can work with both their children and the children's teachers to help develop curiosity about science and learn the steps necessary in developing an education and career.

Emphasis will be placed on how a parent's own childhood interests in a particular field eventually led to his/her present career. Several interactive presentations by JPL professionals will explain to children how their own goals and dreams can be turned into reality by making the right academic choices in school.

The event was conceived five years ago by the Ms. Foundation, developed in response to a study conducted by Harvard University and the American Association of University of Women. The study revealed that girls tend to value themselves using physical appearance as a primary determinant, and hold lower expectations than their male counterparts. The program will encourage girls to recognize their strengths and talents as individuals, offering a first-hand look at many careers and opportunities available in science, business and other professional disciplines.

"Rather than simply showing children career options from books," said Jeanette Mills, chair of the JPL Advisory Council for Women, "Take Our Daughters to Work day will give girls and boys a chance to interact with adults in successful careers, and allow them to see what their parents do every day. We hope this will demonstrate to them that it takes all kinds of people working together to build spacecraft and succeed at JPL."

Although the national event is geared toward the development and recognition of girls, JPL's observance will include sons as well. The link between goals, education and career -- plus the chance to observe a parent at work -- are recognized as beneficial and enjoyable for both girls and boys.

"Take Our Daughters to Work Day" is sponsored by the JPL Director's Advisory Council for Women and the Director's Advisory Council on Minority Affairs. For more information, visit the web site at

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