Abigail Harrison is pursuing her degrees in Astrobiology and Russian at Wellesley College and aspires to be a scientist and NASA astronaut. Abigail has also built a strong online and national speaking presence as Astronaut Abby, sharing her passion for promoting STEM education and space exploration. She is the founder of The Mars Generation, a nonprofit focused on exciting kids and adults about space and STEM. Here she shares a little about her career and the inspiration behind it.
What is your specific area of STEM?
How would you explain your STEM field to young girls?
I study whether or not life exists on other planets.
What traits might a child possess that may indicate an interest or aptitude for your STEM field?
Curious, inquisitive, always asking questions and trying to figure out how things work, taking apart things, interested in learning, logical in thinking, love learning, excited about the world around them.
What did you know about your STEM field when you were a child?
I was always fascinated by the stars and space as a young child and knew I wanted to go there. My parents and others fed my curiosity about STEM and space and encouraged me to pursue my interests.
Why did you choose your STEM field? Were you inspired by someone?
I have been taking college level science courses since high school and have always been fascinated by science and loved learning about it. After taking all kinds of science courses, I knew biology was my preferred field and astrobiology is an interest because of my love for space. It was a natural fit.
What are some really cool things that people in your profession work on?
Getting to explore how organisms respond to different stimulus is a lot of fun. Exploring whether life exists on other planets is fascinating and the opportunities are endless.
What inspirational message would you give young girls to inspire them to pursue STEM?
I encourage girls to pursue what they are excited and passionate about. And not to be afraid to Dream Big. Act Big. And Inspire Others.
Thank you for contributing, Abigail (Astronaut Abby)!
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