Staff of the Space Science Data Operations Office (SSDOO), NSSDC and their support contractor, Raytheon STX (RSTX), reached out to hundreds of students and educators at the 1998 NASA/Junior ROTC Career Expo at the Prince George's Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Nathan James, Carolyn Ng, and Kathleen Maguire (Human Resources, RSTX) were present to answer questions, hand out posters, and explain NSSDC and other SSDOO services and products. Samples of some of the questions asked were, "Besides math and computer/science what skills do I need for a job?" and "Do you have any resources to teach high school math?"
Nathan James of SSDOO helps a visitor at the SSDOO booth.
The Career Expo, which began in 1995, provides a tremendous opportunity for students to gain a better understanding of how to pursue a career through workshops and by visits to booths of various companies and NASA organizations participating in the event. The SSDOO booth was one of 50 from NASA, colleges, and government agencies. Approximately 200 students, educators, and chaperones picked up posters and/or talked to staff members. Before Mr. Daniel Goldin, NASA administrator, delivered his keynote address to approximately 600 students, teachers, and chaperones from Washington, D.C., and Maryland, William Towsend, Goddard Space Flight Center deputy director, visited the booths and introduced himself to SSDOO/NSSDC staff.
The backdrop of the SSDOO booth.
Nathan James (SSDOO; left) and Carolyn Ng (RSTX) helped staff the SSDOO booth.
The young visitors who were seriously interested in science were drawn to the Web pages and to the planetary images on CD-ROM. A solar composite videotape attracted many and gave staff a chance to interact with the audience. The magnetic tapes and optical disks displayed on the table definitely stimulated curiosity. The one-day outreach was certainly a rewarding experience.