Meredith Danowski

LONGMONT, CO, US
Field of Work 
Astronomy and Space Science
 
Engineering, Technical Management
Company 
Ball Aerospace
Job Title or "Student" 
Advanced Systems Manager
Education 
Boston University, Case Western Reserve University, University of Michigan
Degree 
Physics, Astronomy
Education Level 
PhD
Profile Biography 
When I was a little, I remember the first time I watched the space shuttle take off. I was instantly hooked. All my life, I have had an enormous passion for space and science and I have always devoured whatever information I could get my hands on. Now, I get to live my dream and spend my days helping scientists and engineers put their instruments into space!


When I worked at universities, I built scientific instruments that launched on rockets, and I used them to study faraway stars and galaxies. I used data from the Hubble Space Telescope, I built a camera to look at ultraviolet dust, and I worked to take X-ray fingerprints from supernovae and dark matter! After that, I spent some time as a systems engineer building and testing cameras for satellites. Later, I returned to the sounding rockets as a mission manager, supporting science missions that use rockets to get to suborbital space and test technologies there. I got to wear the headset and make sure everyone was ready-- it was awesome to give the final "GO!" for launch.

Recently, I started a position where I get to help scientists make the next generation of space telescopes a reality! Ideas and some really hard work come together and can be rewarded with the opportunity to change the future. It's challenging, wonderful, and jaw-droppingly inspiring every week!

I am passionate about improving the environment of science and aerospace to expand access to the tools of innovation and awe. I love sharing my knowledge of science with all ages and am an advocate for diversity in STEM and STEM education- I spend my 'spare' time teaching, planning events, and working to promote policies to foster positive environments for all in science. I spent some of grad school working at the Museum of Science in Boston, teaching at their Overnight Programs where I was constantly in awe of the creativity and questions of the next generation, and I can't wait to jump in, encourage, and see where their innovation will take us.


My advice to kids is to remember that it's not always easy, but in the end, the tough stuff is often the most rewarding. Everyone makes mistakes- it's how you learn from them and continue working that count. It's also great to build a community of supportive peers- find people like you and support each other. Don't be afraid to reach out! I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of some amazing role models and supportive fellow scientists and engineers!
Interests 
Writing/blogging, Working outdoors, Pets, Dance, Computing, Poetry, Reading, Travel, Sports, Acting
Race & Ethnicity 
White
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, Field trip participation, In-school visit, Online role model, Summer camp visit
My Experience 
I have been a Role Model many times.
Availability 
Evenings, Weekdays, Weekends
Resources 
Career exploration activities, Field trip hosting, Fun demonstrations or materials, Hands-on activities for students, Identifying other role models, Online Mentoring (email or Skype)
Program Affiliation 
AWIS, AAUW, Girl Scouts, NGCP Collaborative FabFem, Other

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