Celebrate Black History Month Virtually: Ask Questions of NASA Engineers
montage of panelists for Black History Month engineering discussionPanelists for the live online talk about engineering careers will be former student intern Carrine Johnson, NASA/JPL engineer Tracy Drain and NASA/JPL engineer Kobie Boykins. Image credt: NASA/JPL What is it like to work at NASA? What jobs do engineers have on space missions? What classes should I take to become an engineer? A panel of African American engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and a former high school intern will answer these questions and more during a live online program on Wed., Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Pacific. JPL manages many robotic space missions for NASA, including the Mars Exploration Rovers and the Cassini Mission at Saturn.

This online event honoring Black History Month is geared to high school students. School audiences will be able to "tune in live" to the NASA/JPL UStream Web page at to watch the 30- to 40-minute program.

Classrooms are invited to email questions in advance to the panel. All questions must be received by Friday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. Eastern/3 p.m. Pacific. To submit a question, send it to . Please include school name, city, state, grade level and, preferably, student's first name. No last names will be used. A few pre-selected schools may pose questions live to the panel.

The panel of engineers includes:

Kobie Boykins -- Kobie began his work at JPL as a student "co-op" working on the mobility system for the Mars Pathfinder Mission. He was involved in building the solar array panels for the Mars Exploration Rovers and is currently working on the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory Mission.

Tracy Drain -- Tracy's first assignment at JPL was to work on futuristic robotic outposts on Mars. She later built and tested command sequences, or computer instructions for a spacecraft, for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission. On the Kepler Mission, Tracy co-led the operations team in responding to unplanned events during space travel. She is currently working on the Juno Mission to Jupiter, focusing on ways to ensure safe space travel to the planet.

Carrine Johnson -- Carrine is currently a senior in a Southern California high school. Last summer she was an intern at JPL. This fall, Carrine plans to attend college and major in engineering.

Visit for more information about JPL's educational opportunities and teacher resources. All NASA educational materials are at .