'TechGYRLS' from San Jose visit Lockheed Martin

Chris Nguyen Image
ByChris Nguyen KGO logo
Friday, February 27, 2015
TechGYRLS club goes to Lockheed Martin
TechGYRLS club members from East San Jose schools visit Lockheed Martin.

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KGO) -- It was a trip these girls had never been on. Twenty TechGYRLS club members from Overfelt and Independence High Schools in East San Jose, scored an invitation to Lockheed Martin.

"It was pretty eye-opening, because now I get like a really good feel, about what engineers actually really do," said senior Ahtzirif Flores at Overfelt High School.

On the agenda, special access to the solar array facility where solar panels are made for spacecraft, including the International Space Station.

"I was able to be a part of like what they were doing, like the fact that I was able to push a button, and make the whole solar panel part that spins, like that was cool," said Monica Esquivel of Overfelt High School.

At Lockheed Martin, women make up nearly a quarter of exempt employees, quite an improvement from say, 30 years ago. But company officials say more work needs to be done to attract additional women to the workforce.

Mark Pasquale is the Vice President of Engineering at Lockheed Martin.

"They'll be the leaders of tomorrow that will then bring the next generation of females to science and technology, and be the engineers that design the next mission to Mars, and the next satellites," said Pasquale.

Students also took part in a paper airplane contest with engineers. It was a unique component designed to stir up some conversation.

"It's easy to say, let's build something, you know, with the simplest materials we can, paper, see how you do, modify it, and see whether you can do better," said engineer Mitsi Andrews of Lockheed Martin.

She had this final piece of advice.

"Don't let peer pressure get to you. When the rest of the girls are no longer interested, it doesn't mean that you have to stop being interested," said Andrews.

Inspiring the next generation of engineers, one conversation at a time.