USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog

Role Models in Science & Engineering: X-STEM & Nifty Fifty Speaker Dr. Kathryn Thornton

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is thrilled to introduce our elite group of X-STEM and Nifty Fifty Speakers for the 3rd Festival! In today’s blog we feature Physicist and former NASA Astronaut Dr. Kathryn Thornton!

Kathryn Thornton
We are excited to announce that Dr. Kathryn Thornton will serve as both an X-STEM and Nifty Fifty Speaker for the Festival! Selected in 1984 by NASA as an astronaut candidate, Kathryn Thornton would go on to serve 12 notable years with NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston — a career which would see her become the second American woman to walk in space, in addition to logging 975 hours and more than 16 million miles in orbit as an astronaut on four Shuttle missions.

“And I loved every minute of it!” exclaims Kathryn, a physicist who, since retiring from NASA in 1996, has become known for bringing that same level of enthusiasm to the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science where she is currently a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and will serve as the Academic Dean on the Fall 2013 voyage of Semester at Sea.

Read the full biography of Dr. Kathryn Thornton here. 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear Dr. Thornton speak and many others at our  X-STEM: Extreme STEM Symposium  that will take place on April 24, 2014! X-STEM, a program of Science Spark, is a special “Extreme” TED-style symposium for elementary through high school students featuring interactive presentations by an exclusive group of visionaries who aim to empower and inspire kids about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). These top STEM role models and industry leaders are sure to ignite your students’ curiosity through storytelling and live demonstrations. Learn more here about X-STEM!

Our Nifty Fifty Program has tripled in size and will return to the greater Washington, D.C. area for the Fall 2103 and Spring 2014 school year. Featuring some of the most inspiring role models in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM,  this signature program of the USA Science and Engineering Festival presents your students with the latest in green technology, engineering, human health and medicine, astronomy and space exploration, nanotechnology, computer science, and more. Learn more here about how your school can host one the top STEM professionals in the country!

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