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Students stitching their way into space via Diva Design
Apr '12
Female students from three Houston Independent School District (HISD) schools are getting designs on careers in "STEM" fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) thanks to a new program sponsored by Space Center Houston.

The "Diva Design Workshop" on March 29 was the first in a series of three created especially for girls to combat the shortage of female scientists in America.

The first session challenged participants to design fashionable attire that would be suitable for life on Mars.

Dozens of girls from HISD's E-STEM Academy West Middle School, Energized for Excellence Middle School, and Young Women's College Preparatory Academy, as well as campuses in Aldine and La Marque ISDs, worked with Project Runway finalist Jerell Scott and NASA space suit design engineer Heather Paul to come up with practical solutions based on current principles of fashion and the various environmental factors that would influence living conditions on the Red Planet.

"The program does more than inspire these young ladies in science careers," said Dr. Melanie Johnson, director of education for Space Center Houston. "It also gives them the opportunity to integrate soft skills such as time management and work ethics."

The workshops are being underwritten by Schlumberger. Remaining sessions will focus on culinary arts in space and the psychological effects of colors.

Houston Independent School District

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