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Mars Rover Comes to UCR May 1

UC Riverside to Host Third Annual Science Event for Girl Scouts

Mars Rover To Help Boost Interest in Space, Science and Engineering

(April 29, 2004)

Mars Rover

Mars Rover

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- The road to space and beyond? It may well begin on the campus of the University of California, Riverside, for about 200 Girl Scouts from the Inland Empire. The Office of Special Programs at the Bourns College of Engineering presents its third annual Girl Scout Day on Saturday, May 1.

The event partners the college’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE) with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, based in Pasadena. With guidance from over 20 members of the SWE, 10 Girl Scout Cadettes and several representatives of NASA, the 200 Girl Scouts will make balloon-propelled Land Rovers and build bubble rockets, construct telescopes and learn the recipe for making ice cream with liquid nitrogen, among other activities. JPL is conducting the Pathfinder Egg Drop Contest and will bring out a life-size model of the Mars Landrover.

There will be talks and demonstrations, including several telescope viewings provided the Riverside Astronomical Society (a partner with JPL’s NASA Planet Quest Program.)

“We want to girls to become excited about majoring in math or science,” said Jeannette Maniago, SWE’s Outreach Coordinator. “We’ll have a particular emphasis on astronomy because JPL is involved. We want the girls to see that building things is fun.”

The event has grown in size and popularity each year. The college had nearly 650 requests from area Girl Scouts to attend this year, but space and materials allowed for only 200 attendees.

“Now we’re looking into planning another event for the fall, because we want to accommodate all of the Girl Scouts who show an interest,” said Linda O’Neill, the College of Engineering’s Director of Special Programs. “This event is going to become bigger and better every year.”

Participation will help Girl Scout members earn their science badges, and Girl Scout Cadettes earn their leadership badges.

“Some of these young women don’t yet know what college is like, so we want to give them a good, memorable experience,” said Marisol Torres, SWE’s president. “We’re hoping they remember what they learn here, and later consider a career in engineering, as it’s important to encourage more women to enter the field.”

The events will take place at the University Lecture Hall and the Bourns College of Engineering. For more information call (909) 787-6379. For more information on the Office of Special Programs, go to

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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