On Sept. 19, Pamela Metivier held a presentation called “The Importance of Non-Exceptional Female Role Models in STEM.” The presentation featured key points in common stigmas surrounding the concept of females that enter STEM fields, as well as why that affects the number of how many there are at all. Metivier, who is a data analyst with over 25 years of experience in STEM, emphasized the importance of introducing young girls to role models in this field.
Another highly anticipated event at this year’s festival was the “Mars Rover Update” held on Sept. 22, with Ken Herkenhoff and Ryan Anderson of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center. During the almost hour-long presentation, audience members were treated to a summarized explanation on a brief history of rovers, previous missions to Mars, as well as an update on the status of the Perseverance rover.
The Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in August 2012, is set to be replaced in the following months by the Perseverance rover. Essentially, this new piece of technology has the same basic design, but with upgraded instruments. After launching in July 2020, the Perseverance rover is set to land on Mars in February 2021. Upon arrival, the primary goals of this mission are to investigate the possibility of life ever existing on Mars through the collection of samples of multiple substances from the surface for potential return to Earth.
In the midst of so much change caused by COVID-19, the Flagstaff Festival of Science concluded its first primarily virtual series of events without any noticeable setbacks.