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February 4, 1999
QuestChat with Anne Corwin

College Intern/Engineering Aide
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 3 - 11:57:35 ]
Hello to our early arriving chat participants! Today's Aerospace Team Online chat with Anne Corwin from NASA Ames Research Center will begin at 12:30 p.m., Pacific Standard Time. Be sure you have read Anne's profile at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/team/corwin.html before joining this chat.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 4 - 11:57:57 ]
Once the chat begins, Anne will attempt to answer as many of your questions as she can, but please be patient. We may use "moderation" during the chat if Anne falls behind with our questions. This means that only a few questions will be posted to the chat room at a time. Don't worry if your questions do not appear on your screen immediately during moderation. They will be held in our chat queue and posted as Anne answers those ahead of you.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 5 - 11:58:36 ]
Remember to enter "Your Handle" in the box provided before posting messages to the chat room.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 6 - 11:59:18 ]
At the conclusion of today's chat, we ask that you take a few minutes to let us know what you thought about it. For your convenience, you may use our online feedback forms at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys. We look forward to hearing from you!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 16 - 12:31:33 ]
Hello and welcome to today's Aerospace Team Online chat with Anne Corwin from NASA Ames Research Center. In addition to being an intern and a full-time student, Anne assists the staff of the 40x80- and 80x120-foot wind tunnels with anything they need help with. Since July, Anne has been working on a large-scale software development project. She is constructing a program in that will allow customers and users of the wind tunnels to set up and plan out their tests in an entirely electronic format.

[ Anne/ARC - 8 - 12:20:32 ]
RE: [MrThomas] Hello Annie! How are you? We are from the Sussex Middle School located in New Jersey. WE have read your autobiography and have a few questions to ask you. 1) Did you ever think that you would get such a good job at such a young age? 2)What jobs at NASA do you like the most? 3)If you have kids are you going to encourage them to do the same thing as you?
Hello to all at the Sussex Middle School! It's great to be able to do this. To answer your questions:no, I NEVER thought I'd get this type of job at such a young age. Before I worked here, the only job experience I had was working at a coffee shop and an amusement park. I was always really interested in science, but my self-confidence was kind of low as I was growing up. Getting this job happened really fast: I went to a job fair, then to an interview the next day, and then within 2 more days they hired me! Needless to say, I was REALLY happy! I also grew up in Connecticut...I didn't move to CA until I was 17. I guess you guys are over on the East Coast, too. As for the jobs I like the most at NASA: I like jobs in which I have to think a lot and try to solve practical problems. I enjoy doing things that give me the opportunity to use what I've learned in school and what I've learned just from being here. One of my favorite projects I did here was the rigging plan for the Wright Flyer... the plan describes how the model is going to be lifted into the wind tunnel. I got to do everything from drawing to doing math problems to actually going out and measuring things. If I ever have kids, I'm sure I'll try to create an environment which will make science seem appealing to them. I won't try to pressure them or anything, but I don't see why anyone would NEED to be pressured to want to work here.

[ Anne/ARC - 13 - 12:30:40 ]
RE: [MrThomas] 4)Did your parents ever push you to much when you were young? 5) Do yoyu think that your play time as a child benifits you for what you are doing now? 6) What physical discovery do you hope to contribute to the world of scienc?
Wow, you guys certainly thought of a lot of questions! 4.) My dad DID kind of push me, but I don't think that he did it in a way that was harmful to me. I don't think there's anything wrong with parents trying to help their kids see the value of hard work. I needed some pushing to get over my self-esteem barriers: I often would think things like, "That's too hard, I'll never be able to do it." I was also really hyper and distractable when I was a little kid; sometimes I needed a lot of structure in order to keep me on task. I thought a lot, but I often jumped from one activity to the other, and was kind of disorganized. 5.) I think my play as a child DID help me...some of my happiest memories are simply of using my imagination. I think that playing the way I did and being really interested in science fiction helped me get my brain in gear for trying to solve science problems in the future. I used to sit there and try to figure out if it were possible to go faster than the speed of light, etc. Sometimes I'd even try to read books that were way over my head just because I really wanted to know the answer to something. 6.) As for a physical discovery: I don't really know what I want to specifically contribute, but I know I want to discover something new. I'd like to go down in the history books for something :), but that hardly happens to anyone. I'd like to figure something out about how the universe itself operates...I'm interested in higher dimensions, etc. On the practical level, I'd like to make a car or spaceship that would go really, really fast on a small amount of fuel.

[ Anne/ARC - 18 - 12:35:48 ]
RE: [Vale] Dear Anne, What do you(or other people) test in the wind tunnels? This must be a big difference to work at NASA rather than as a "coffee worker", or a cashier. Who does NASA have you working during the day? It would be a lot easier for you to work at night with classes and all, and you might think that NASA would need the "night workers." I can't believe that your only 19 and you got such a good job!!!! So far life sounds like you had a good and exciting one. Your dad should be very proud.
Dear Vale, Hello there. In the wind tunnels, everything has been tested from space shuttles to trucks to parachutes. Most tests, however, tend to be of full-scale or nearly full-scale aircraft models. NASA has me working during the day because of the general hours of the center. Most of the other people that work here are full-time, 7-to-4 workers who don't need to run off and go to school in the middle of the day. I like being here when there are people around because if I get stuck on something there's always somebody I can get help from--and I like the people here, anyway! My school schedule is a little wacky, but I'm willing to put up with it if it means I am able to work on my engineering degree and work at NASA at the same time.

[ Anne/ARC - 24 - 12:47:01 ]
RE: [MrThomas] 7) Did watchimg star wars have an influenc ini your interest in NASA? 8)What purpose do the wind tunnels have as far as NASA's concerned? 9) How did you create the program for the wind tunnel?
7.) Star Wars is one of those things that has affected my life in a big way... that may sound silly, but it's true. I really identified with Luke Skywalker when I was little, because he was kind of the underdog, yet he still managed to make something great of himself, and I hoped that the same thing would happen to me. I loved seeing all the different kinds of spaceships...I used to watch the movie and try to figure out why certain ships had a certain shape, etc. I used to draw all these diagrams with components in which I was trying to guess what was inside of a lightsaber. So though I never really associated Star Wars with NASA directly, the same kinds of fascinations were there. 8.) As far as NASA is concerned, the wind tunnels represent a way to see how different airplanes and vehicles will handle without actually having to fly them. This is important because if it turns out that a certain design is unsafe, it's better to find that out in a wind tunnel than in the sky when there are people in the plane. Also, the tunnels are useful for things like seeing the patterns in the flow of air around the wings. Sometimes, the wind tunnel staff does tests that involve filling the tunnel with theatrical smoke and then shining lasers at certain points on or near the model. I've seen some pictures of this...it's really cool, because you can actually see a colored vortex where the air is swirling around. Once you know the air patterns, you can use this data to make better airplanes. 9.) I created my program on the computer using software called FileMaker Pro. When you look at the program, it's kind of like a web site with text boxes and buttons you can push.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 28 - 12:50:04 ]
RE: [MrsMock/MontessoriSchoolofCorona-Mrs.Mock/MontessoriSchoolofCorona] Hello Anne and Oran. My computer students are at their lunch recess but they composed questions off line that I am going to cut and paste for you. Thanks for chatting with us today, Anne!
Welcome back, Mrs. Mock. We hope you enjoy today's chat with Anne Corwin!

[ Anne/ARC - 32 - 12:52:24 ]
RE: [MissDabrowski-MissDabrowski/MagnificatHighSchool] What is coefficient of drag and coefficient of lift?
Dear Miss Dabrowski, I'm not exactly sure offhand what a "coefficient" of drag/lift is, but both lift and drag are forces that act on in-flight aircraft. Drag is created by air resistance as the plane moves through the air...it's kind of like friction. It resists the forward motion of the plane. Lift force is created beneath the wings/body of the model--it's caused by little air currents near and on the surfaces of the wings.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 35 - 12:54:27 ]
RE: [MrsMock-Mrs.Mock/MontessoriSchoolofCorona] Oran, can I keep sending the questions? I have another class coming to computer at 1 and I will not be able to stay online the whole time.
Yes, but we'll keep them in our moderated chat queue and post a few at a time. this will help Anne keep up with the questions during the chat.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 38 - 12:55:34 ]
RE: [Vale] Thank you for the response! I have to go to my English class now, so Sincerely, Vale LeRoi
Thank you for joining us today, Vale. Please let us know what you thought about today's chat at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys. Have a good day!

[ Anne/ARC - 39 - 12:55:54 ]
RE: [Lauren4thgrade/MSOC-Mrs.Mock/MontessoriSchoolofCorona] What inspired you to become a Engeneering Aid? How many classes is 28 units? Do you go to Stanford Univirsity? Do you collect Beanie Babies?
Hi Lauren in 4th grade! It's nice to hear from you. Actually, now I'm only taking 19 units, which is four classes. Last quarter in school I was taking 28, which was 6 classes. Most people take between 12 and 15 units, so I'm still doing a lot. No, I don't go to Stanford...I go to a school called De Anza College. It's about 20 minutes from Stanford. I personally don't have any Beabie Babies, but my little sister Katie has a few.

[ Anne/ARC - 41 - 13:01:08 ]
RE: [Caleb4thgrade-Mrs.Mock/MontessoriSchoolofCorona] What were your most recent assignments? What is the Pythagorean Thereom? My teacher is going to show me Montessori work that shows the Pythagorean theorem but I' ve never seen it. What did you build the Wright Flyer out of? What collage do you go to? What classes do you go to?
Caleb, The Pythagorean Theorem has a long weird name, but it's really just a way to find out what the lengths of different sides of a "right" triangle are. I wish I could draw a triange here! If you can picture a triangle with one of its inside corners square, and the other two skinnier, then that's a right triangle. One of the sides--called the hypotenuse--is longer than the other two sides. It is right across from the square (90º) angle. This side can be called "c". The Pythagorean Theorem is a-squared + b-squared = c-squared, where a and b are the lengths of the two shorter sides of the triangle. Right now in school, I'm taking a class in engineering physics of electricity and magnetism, statics, which is kind of like math, and then calculus, which is hard college math.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 42 - 13:02:36 ]
We would like to remind you to dhare your thoughts about today's chat with us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys. We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

[ Anne/ARC - 43 - 13:03:12 ]
RE: [Ronica4thgrade/MSOC-Mrs.Mock/MontessoriSchoolofCorona] Do any people work with you? Would you still like to be an astronuat?
Dear Ronica, a lot of people work with me here at NASA. I share an office with my boss, whose name is Pete Zell. He'll be doing a chat on the 23rd of this month. He gives me projects to do and helps me if I have a question. I work in a really big building--actually, I work UNDER the wind tunnel! When it's on, it's really loud in my office and the ceiling rattles! I would still love to go into space if I got the chance.

[ Anne/ARC - 48 - 13:09:13 ]
RE: [AmberH6thGrade/MSOC] Is it tough to carry 28 units and be an Engineering aide? When do you have time for homework? Would you say you are trying to be an influence or role model on younger children? So is being an engineer or astronaut your life dream? Did you feel at first that you didnt want to go into math and science?
Amber, to answer your question, yes, it is difficult to do what I do with school and work. I do homework practically whenever I'm home: that means evenings before bed, and on the weekends. I usually spend over 20 hours per weekend just doing homework. I'm not doing what I'm doing JUST so I can be a role model...but if I end up being one, I'll be very happy. I like talking about science. I have always liked science, but I actually didn't like math very much until I got to geometry, and ever since then I've loved it

[ Anne/ARC - 51 - 13:14:10 ]
RE: [Dave6thGrade/MSOC] How will you celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Wright Brothers flight? Do you want to explore Mars? Did you think that forklift that lifted the W.F. might topple over? Where is the W.F. stored? What if the W.F. flies to pieces?
Dave, I do want to explore Mars...I've heard that they found water there, so there might have been life at one time. That would mean that there was such a thing as aliens! Everyone is being really careful to make sure that the Wright Flyer does not break. If it broke into pieces it would be very sad...and very expensive!

[ Anne/ARC - 53 - 13:18:14 ]
RE: [Kimber4thgrade/MSOC-Mrs.Mock/MontessoriSchoolofCorona] Do you go to Michigan collage? How much programing did it take to make the Flyer?
Kimber, Sorry I took so long to find your question. I don't go to Michigan College...I live in California, and I go to De Anza College which is close to my house. If you are talking about the ORIGINAL flyer, built by the Wright Brothers, it didn't take any programming...they did it before computers were invented, so they had to do all the calculations and building by hand. The model that will be tested in the NASA wind tunnel was built so that it would be as close to the original as possible.

[ Anne/ARC - 54 - 13:23:07 ]
RE: [AmberL5thGrade/MSOC] Is it hard to go to work and get to your class on time? Why would you want to be an astronaut? Do you like math and science? I like math. It is my best subject. What would you like to discover?
Dear Amber L, I tried to make my schedule so that it wouldn't be very hard to get where I need to go on time, but sometimes I still have to ride really fast. I don't have a car, so I ride my bike everywhere. It's good exercise, and it doesn't pollute! It's about eight miles from school to work, which takes me anywhere between a half hour and an hour depending on which way the wind is blowing. I'd want to be an astronout just because it would be so amazing to be able to leave the planet. Just think...for millions of years, humans were confined to one planet, but now we have the ability to break free of the atmosphere. I think it would be fun to be weightless, and to do experiments in space. I love math and science...it's neat how everything fits together.

[ Anne/ARC - 57 - 13:28:09 ]
RE: [MrsMock] Thank you Anne for chatting. I have to go work with my next group of students. I have a question. If a time machine was a possibility in your lifetime - would you want to be the one to discover the secret and build it? Where (when) would you go to?
Dear Mrs. Mock, I WOULD like to be the person who disovers how time travel works. If I could go anywhere, I think I'd go to the future, just to see what kind of progress the human race is making years from now. I wouldn't want to go to the past...there are too many ways to mess things up wif you go that way. I'd like to see what the political environment is like, what scientific discoveries have been made, and even what kind of music is popular.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 58 - 13:29:12 ]
This concludes today's Aerospace Team Online chat with Anne Corwin from NASA Ames Research Center. We hope you can join us for our next Aerospace Team Online chat with Chris Lockwood from NASA Ames Research Center. This chat is scheduled for Tuesday, February 9, at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Check the ADTO chat schedule page at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats to learn more about this chat. Also check our schedule of events page at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/common/events to learn about other upcoming chats with NASA experts.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 59 - 13:29:34 ]
Thank you VERY MUCH to Anne Corwin for joining us online today.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 60 - 13:30:02 ]
We would also like to thank our participants for joining us today, and for your great questions.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 61 - 13:30:53 ]
We invite you to share your thoughts about today's chat at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchat/qchat-surveys.


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