Reach for the stars, you’ll land on the moon!



Written by Colorado Girl Scout Alumnae, Emily Walters, who earned her Gold Award in 2004

Girl Scouts and the Girl Scout Gold Award has helped me get to where I am today.

I was recently fortunate to work on the GRAIL satellite project at Lockheed Martin. GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) is a two satellite system that will orbit the moon to analyze the internal structure and lunar gravity. They are relatively small compared to other satellites, about the size of a washer and dryer, and launched toward the moon on Sept. 8, 2011. I was a part of the team that assembled the spacecraft, tested each component of the spacecraft as it was added, and tested the fully integrated system. Prior to the launch, I worked in Cape Canaveral, Florida to do final testing and integrate the GRAIL satellites to the rocket. Some days I wrote procedures or code software scripts, other days I worked in a cleanroom bunny suit running a test on the spacecraft. I got to work directly with the hardware to get to know the satellites in and out. On Sept. 8th, I helped the team launch the rocket for its journey to the moon!

In school and growing up, I was always interested in math and science. When it was time to decide what I wanted to do for my Gold Award project (one of Girl Scouts most prestigious awards), I knew that I wanted to do something to share my love of math and science. When I was in high school, I earned my Gold Award for starting a summer science program for elementary aged kids. It was an opportunity for me to have fun and help inspire others with my passion for science. During my project, I led the children through different science topics and experiments. Since I had always been interested in space, we had a “space week” where we explored different space topics.

What helped me the most with earning my Gold Award were the team building experiences that I had through Girl Scouts. I had an opportunity to learn about leadership and eventually take the lead. I also had to go outside of my comfort zone while working on my Gold Award, which helped me push my boundaries. I use these skills at work by asserting myself with a team to make sure that GRAIL was ready to go to the moon. On Sept. 8th, I sat in front of a monitor in the Mission Control Center as the rocket counted down to take GRAIL to the moon.

If you want to learn more about GRAIL, visit these sites:

About Jordan Alvillar, Product Sales Administrative Support Specialist, Girl Scouts of Colorado

A former Girl Scout and sorority girl, I'm all about girls making a difference! Follow your dreams!
This entry was posted in Girl Scouts in Action, girls, Highest Awards, parents, volunteers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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