Daydreams of flight gained a sharper focus recently as students at Edwards Middle School learned of future career possibilities during the school's Career Day April 22.
The school, a NASA Explorer School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., was recently named a California Distinguished School.
NASA Dryden aerospace engineer Trong Bui explains the dynamics of flight to a group of Edwards Middle School students during a recent Career Day presentation.
Several employees from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, co-located on the base, explained their jobs to students, encouraging them to consider aerospace careers while working hard in school.
Young eyes focused and ears listened intently as rocket scientist Trong Bui told of his exciting research adventures working on several projects at NASA Dryden, including one during which he investigated special rocket engine nozzles called aerospikes.
Engineer Jessica Lux-Baumann detailed her job of setting up Dryden's mission control rooms for research flights like the two successful X-43A scramjet flights in 2004. There was no shortage of eager response during question and answer times that followed each presentation.
The visual arts were not forgotten as NASA Dryden's lead photographer, Jim Ross, spoke of exciting possibilities in his non-engineering field. Putting a flight helmet and other items on a volunteer student, Ross explained aerial photography difficulties encountered in trying to hold a camera up to the eye to photograph NASA's advanced aircraft during research missions, all while wearing such gear in a twisting and turning high-performance jet.
While NASA Dryden's Jim Ross outlined his job as an aerial photographer, sixth-grade student Leo Banuelos learned first-hand about the gear Ross wears in the cockpit.
Career days are designed to encourage students to consider and work toward the many future possibilities in the work-a-day world, and the Edwards Middle School career day made the grade with students, faculty and presenters alike.
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Public Affairs