Dr. Rosaly Lopes of Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) was the keynote speaker at the Fall Kickoff for the Los Altos-Mountain View (LA-MV) branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) on Saturday, September 26, 2020.
Dr. Lopes, a well-known woman scientist working in a STEM field, was contacted in support of LA-MV AAUW’s goal to up the interest for middle school girls in science and math. Speaking from Pasadena via ZOOM, she showed videos and slides from NASA’s Galileo mission to the moons of Jupiter and the Cassini mission to Saturn and its moons. She used other pictures and videos from trips to volcanos in Antarctica, Hawaii, and other locations to explain how NASA is beginning to understand volcanic activity on Io, a moon of Jupiter, and Enceladus, a moon of Saturn.
The audience included branch members and middle-school girls who had been selected as finalists to attend AAUW’s Tech Trek camp at Stanford this past summer 2020. Although the camp was cancelled due to COVID-19 fears, the branch recognized each finalist with the awarding of a Tech Trek Teddy (to be shipped later). All attendees who RSVP’d to the meeting invitation received a snack bag delivered to their doors in advance of the meeting to help add a social dimension to the event.
The meeting concluded with a reminder about Rise Up! the Fight for Women’s Suffrage at the Los Altos History Museum. The branch is a sponsor. Last, attendees saw a quick survey of upcoming election-related events and websites and heard strong encouragement to make sure every eligible person in their household votes.