Monday, February 8, 2016

Diana Trujillo: Mars Science Lab Engineer

Diana Trujillo: Mars Science Lab Engineer
written by Kari Cornell
2016 (Lerner)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

I spent so much time as a child trying to connect the dots. My job now allows me to do just that.

Right after graduating from high school, Diana Trujillo moved from Cali, Columbia to Miami, Florida. She had a dream of working at NASA. Since childhood, Diana loved doing math but she concentrated on learning English at Miami Dade College. Needing a break from learning a new language, she borrowed a textbook from the math department so she could relax by working math problems. Diana ended up graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in aerospace engineering. Finding a job at her dream destination, she worked on the Mars Curiosity rover project. Diana’s team needed to find a way to collect rock samples on Mars. The problem was the red dust that covers the planet. This team created a Dust Removal Tool which allowed scientists to see the rock underneath and make a decision about drilling. Trujillo became the lead engineer on the team. She continues to work on the Curiosity rover project, mentors new scientists at NASA, and speaks to students in schools.

Diana Trujillo is a role model for all students who are interested in STEM subjects. She set a goal and realized it through dedication and a love of learning. Her story also emphasizes the role of teamwork in STEM occupations. Trujillo is a shining star who will inspire students to dream big. 

*Use of Legos in childhood figures prominently in both Diana's biography and Markus Persson, who created Minecraft. If you have a young child, invest in those blocks!

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