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Meet: Jim Scott

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Research Instrument Maker
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

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Who I Am
I am a machinist in the model development shop, at NASA Ames Research Center. I make the models that engineers use to test their designs. I manufacture them out of various materials from plastics to all kinds of metals, including brass, aluminum, even steel.

The designers give me drawings to work from. We discuss the various measurements and aspects of the design. I use computer-controlled mills and lathes. This helps me make models that are very precise.

My Career Path
I knew I wanted to do this type of work ever since my 8th grade industrial arts class. In high school I took shop and drafting classes. I used to repair and service my motorcycle. After high school I went to De Anza Community College to become a machinist. I became an intern at NASA Ames Research Center. First I worked in the wood shop. Later I was switched to the Model shop.

Being a machinist at NASA means that you are always getting to work on something new or one of a kind. I love my work. When I first started I was sweeping the shop floors but now I get to work on very exciting projects.

As a Child
When I was a child I liked to build models. I was also a Sea Scout. My high school shop teacher, Mr. Lamont (Bud) Williams was a major influence on me. I appreciated his encouragement.

If you are interested in becoming a machinist, be sure to take Trigonometry, and Geometry and Computer Classes

In my spare time I love to read science fiction. I like the Foundation series. I work in the machine shop in my garage. Recently I have enjoyed recreation vehicle (RV) camping. I like to go to Pinnacles State Park and to the reservoirs.


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