NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

One hundred girls ages 9 to 15 years old will accompany their parents to work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on April 28 as part of a national observance of "Take Our Daughters To Work" day.

The girls and their JPL parents will be treated to a morning of guest speakers and a showing of the JPL multimedia production, "Welcome to Outer Space." Deputy Director Larry Dumas will be on hand to introduce the Laboratory's work as the lead NASA center for the robotic exploration of the solar system.

"It's important for girls to know the variety of career choices they really will have when they go out into the working world 10 or 15 years from now," said Marguerite Schier, a technical staff member in the Earth and Space Sciences Division and member of the JPL Director's Advisory Council for Women.

"JPL represents a broad spectrum of career opportunities covering science, engineering and administration," she added. "We don't just handle launches and planetary encounters. We excel in many fields, like supercomputing, Earth sciences, astrophysics and space physics.

"We'd like the girls who participate in this special day to understand the scope of our work and to know that they can pursue those types of careers if they choose."

Several JPL employees representing a broad range of career specialties at the Laboratory will participate in a panel discussion of their careers and educational backgrounds to give the crowd a better picture of job opportunities at JPL.

Panelists will include Donna Shirley, a robotics engineer leading the development of a rover for the 1996 Pathfinder mission to Mars; Barbara Horner-Miller, a specialist in advanced and supercomputing; Linda Robeck, who oversees metrics standards; and Glenda Lentz, chief recruitment officer for the Laboratory.

After the discussion, the girls and their parents will tour the facility, visiting locations such as JPL's mission control center and spacecraft assembly facility.

Then it's off to watch Mom or Dad at work. Daughters will spend the afternoon assisting their parents and learning more about their jobs at JPL, an experience that few pre-teens and teenage girls receive in their formative years.

JPL is among many businesses and corporations in Southern California participating in the second annual "Take Our Daughters To Work" day, sponsored by the New York-based Ms. Foundation for Women. Other NASA centers participating in the nationwide event include the Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.

"Take Our Daughters To Work" was designed to help build girls' self-esteem by showing them a wide variety of career possibilities.

Recent studies supported by the American Association of University Women have shown that girls in this age group typically experience loss of self-esteem by the time they enter junior high school.

JPL's "Take Our Daughters 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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