Harry Woo manages the Mission Operations Section at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where the voyages of spacecraft hundreds or millions and billions of miles away are actually flown.
On April 27, he will be bringing his 10-year-old daughter Kelly to work to show her some of the many tasks he performs to help guide spacecraft such as the Jupiter-bound Galileo probe, the twin Voyager spacecraft and Ulysses to their destinations.
Meanwhile JPL's Dr. Linda Horn, mission scientist on the 1997 Cassini mission to Saturn, will bring her 10-year-old daughter Jessica to the Lab to show her the model of the Cassini spacecraft and explain some of the science observations planned by the composite infrared spectrometer team for studying Saturn and its intricate tapestry of rings and moons.
These moms and dads will be part of JPL's "Take Our Children To Work" day, the Lab's own home-spun version of a nationwide "Take Our Daughters To Work" observance taking place on Thursday, April 27.
Two-hundred and thirty girls and boys ages 9 to 15 years old will accompany their JPL parents to the Lab for a day of mentoring, noontime presentations and tours of the 177-acre facility, an operating division of the California Institute of Technology and home to NASA's program of robotic exploration of the solar system.
JPL is among many businesses and corporations in Southern California participating in the third annual "Take Our Daughters To Work" day, sponsored by the New York-based Ms. Foundation for Women. After a highly successful observance last year, the Laboratory expanded the program this year to include sons and nearly doubled the number of participants.
"This event was so popular last year and so well received by children and parents that we did our very best to accommodate as many children as we could this year," said Diana Lanagan, who works in Employee Services and coordinated the event this year. "The turnout reflects the children's high degree of interest in a variety of stimulating career opportunities that can be found at JPL in science, engineering and administration, careers that they might be drawn to some day."
After a morning of mentoring with their JPL moms and dads, children will be able to listen to and question a panel of JPL women who hold interesting and unusual jobs.
Panelists for the noontime presentation in JPL's von Karman Auditorium will include: Layne Whyman, an administrative assistant in the Deep Space Network Operations Division; Judith Nelson, who works in the Ground Systems Division; Dr. Linda Horn, Cassini mission scientist and co-investigator of the mission's infrared spectrometer team; Dr. Helen Wong, a physician and deputy manager of JPL's Medical Services facility; Dr. Amy Walton, manager of JPL's Data Analysis and Computing Systems program; and Yolanda Fletcher, who manages JPL's archive of planetary science products for NASA's Planetary Data System.
After the presentation, boys and girls will tour the Lab, visiting locations such as JPL's mission control center and spacecraft assembly facility. Some JPL parents plan to take their children to more remote sites off the beaten trail, such as the mesa overlooking the Lab, where some deep space communications operations take place.
Then it's off to watch mom or dad at work. Children will spend the rest of the day assisting their parents and learning more about their jobs at JPL, an experience that few pre-teens receive in their formative years.
Other NASA centers around the country participating in this nationwide observance to stimulate children's interest in career opportunities include NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.
JPL's "Take Our Children To Work" day is co-sponsored by the JPL Director's Advisory Council for Women, the Office of Human Resources and the Public Affairs Division's Public Services Office.
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