By: Monique Everett
In celebration of Whatcom’s 50-year anniversary Nathalia Holt spoke about her new book “Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars,” in Heiner theater on Oct. 5.
“When your 200 miles above the planet looking out the window to see your own planet is the most incredible experience.” Wendy Lawrence, a former NASA astronaut, and audience member said.
Chuckanut Radio Hour, the variety radio show that hosted the event, shared poetry, humor, storytelling, and live music.
In 2013, science writer, Nathalia Holt, organized a reunion with the remaining Jet-Propelled Laboratory team who helped pave the way for space exploration in the 1940s and 50s.
Human computers played an integral part in the birth of NASA Holt said.
When by chance Holt and her husband decided to name their daughter Eleanor Francis a Google search of the name introduced them to American astronomer, Eleanor Francis Helin.
Holt became obsessed with learning about the early women pioneers in science and math, and curious as to why their incredible stories had not been told.
With the low percentage of women going into computer science and stem fields, Holt explained, we could restructure our intro classes to be more inclusive of all learning levels.
“Video game culture somewhat excludes women.” Holt said, as a response to why women may be uninterested in a degree in computer science.
“I’m an example of what can happen when you work hard and believe in yourself.” Lawrence said, adding, “Be persistent. Surround yourself with people who want to support you. Education fosters incredible things.”
The Chuckanut Radio Hour is broadcast Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at KMRE, 102.3 FM.