Giving Back: Wildflower at STEM Santa Fe's Expanding Your Horizons Conference


Members of Wildflower’s technical management teams were honored to participate in STEM Santa Fe’s Expanding Your Horizons Conference on October 13th at Santa Fe Community College. As a Gold Sponsor alongside Los Alamos National Laboratory, Wildflower staff participated as volunteers as well as providing fun giveaways and the grand prize for the Expanding Your Horizons essay contest. Around 180 girls from grades 5-8 participated, and the event was kicked off with a keynote speech by the director of the National Science Foundation.

We were honored to meet Dr. France A. Córdova, the director of the National Science Foundation and astrophysicist with close ties to Northern New Mexico. Dr. Córdova began her career at Los Alamos National Laboratory before becoming the first female chief scientist for NASA, a university administrator, and now the leader of the “only government agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery,” according to the National Science Foundation’s website. We are inspired by Dr. Córdova and commit ourselves daily to embracing and advancing diversity here at Wildflower.

Córdova’s journey has been a challenging and rewarding one, she told the girls. And now, she said, it’s their turn to start their own journeys.

“The part to remember is you can be yourself, with all of your interests and talents, whatever they are, and still be a great scientist or engineer,” Córdova said. “… Give yourselves permission to shine.”

After her talk, dozens of girls lined up at a microphone to question Córdova, asking the astrophysicist everything from her advice for young female engineers to what the her favorite planet is. (Córdova told the girls she has a healthy respect for Jupiter, which has spared the Earth from calamity by changing the path of potential collision materials.)
Carly RhodesideComment