On Tuesday, March 8, Parker middle school students were treated to a presentation by Carol Davies, a mathematician who worked for NASA for more than 30 years.
Davies shared examples from her many projects at NASA to show students the connection between mathematics and space travel, as well as to inspire girls to pursue the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Students were engrossed with Davies’ presentation which discussed the accuracy of the mathematics behind the recent Hollywood blockbuster movie “The Martian”, the demotion of Pluto from being a planet and details behind some of Jupiter’s 67 moons.
Additionally, Davies showed students a copy of the plaques placed on Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecrafts sent into interstellar space in the 1970s. These plaques were intended to provide information about Earth and humans should they be intercepted by extraterrestrial life.
Davies worked with NASA on the design of re-entry vehicles used in the space program including the Galileo mission to Jupiter and Pioneer missions. Retired from NASA, Davies volunteers as a docent at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Waimea.