Space School Musical



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Meet today's scientists and engineers
Some Very Cool People and What They Do at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Curtis Wilkerson   Tracy Drain   Christina Frederick   Gregory Villar

Building a Clean Space Machine
Mars Science Lab will be the biggest and best rover yet. Join engineer Curtis Wilkerson in a tour of a clean room where it’s being built.
Watch video  4:35


Are We Alone?
Scientists and engineers on the Kepler mission, including Flight Engineer Tracy Drain, discuss their search for Earth-sized planets.
Watch video  2:12


I Was an Intern
at JPL
Math Ph.D. student Christina Frederick shares her JPL internship experiences.
Watch video  1:00


Student of the Stars
A love of astronomy set college student Gregory Villar on a course to science internships at JPL.
Watch video  2:33

Lucy Abramyan   Victor Mejia   Gisselle Cunningham   Kobie Boykins

Getting the Rovers to Mars
Internships at JPL helped Lucy Abramyan build her career as a software engineer.
Watch video  2:41


Writing Software to View Images from Space
Returning for his fourth summer at JPL, Victor Mejia focuses on writing software for JPL scientists.
Watch video  2:03


Working on Robotics
College student Gisselle Cunningham's summer on a JPL robotics project was the perfect fit.
Watch video  1:43


Are You Curious?
Mechanical engineer and mentor Kobie Boykins explains what he looks for in intern candidates.
Watch video  1:09

Dot Silverman   Pepito Escarce   Jourdan Hoapili    
My High School Summer at JPL
High school students Dot Silverman, Pepito Escarce,  and Jourdan Hoapili describe their summer as interns at JPL.
Watch video  3:18


Meet the scientists of yesterday
"Are you who I think you are?" We're the Scientists! We understand you!

Nicolaus Copernicus   Marie Sklodowska Curie   Charles Robert Darwin   Thomas Alva Edison

Nicolaus Copernicus
(1473 - 1543)
A Polish astronomer who advanced the theory that the Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun. This was highly controversial at the time, since the prevailing belief in Europe for 1,000 years was that the Earth was the center of the universe, and all objects, including the Sun, circle it.


Marie Curie
(1867 – 1934)
A Polish physicist and chemist, she was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity (a term she coined) and the first person honored with Nobel Prizes in both physics and chemistry. She developed techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes and discovered the elements polonium and radium. She directed the first studies using radioactive isotopes to treat cancer.


Charles Robert Darwin
(1809 – 1882)
An English naturalist who conducted scientific research and showed that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors.  He proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.


Thomas Alva Edison
(1847 – 1931)
An American inventor, scientist, and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the first long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera. He is considered one of the most prolific inventors in history, with 1,093 U.S. patents in his name.

Albert Einstein   Leonardo Fibonacci   Benjamin Franklin   Galileo Galilei

Albert Einstein
(1879 - 1955)
A German-American physicist, Einstein was a theoretical physicist, philosopher and author who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time. He developed the Special and General Theories of Relativity which, along with Quantum Mechanics, are the foundation of modern physics.


Leonardo Fibonacci
(1170 – 1250)
An Italian mathematician, considered by some "the most talented western mathematician of the Middle Ages." Fibonacci is best known to the modern world for spreading the Hindu-Arabic numeral system in Europe, primarily through the publication of his Book of Calculation.


Benjamin Franklin
(1706 – 1790)
An American author, printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, soldier, diplomat, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. As a scientist, he was noted for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity.


Galileo Galilei
(1564 - 1642)
An Italian scientist, Galileo was renowned for his contributions to physics, astronomy, and scientific philosophy. He is regarded as the chief founder of modern science. He developed the telescope, which he used to observe craters on the Moon and discover the largest moons of Jupiter.

Robert Goddard   Edmond Halley   Stephen William Hawking   Caroline Lucretia Herschel

Robert Goddard
(1882 – 1945)
An American professor, physicist, and inventor, Goddard created and built the world's first liquid-fueled rocket, which he launched on March 16, 1926. He was the first to recognize the scientific potential of missiles and space travel and to design and construct rockets to implement those ideas. Though his work was revolutionary, he was sometimes ridiculed for his theories on spaceflight. After his death, he was recognized as the father of modern rocketry.


Edmond Halley
(1656 – 1742)
An English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist who is best known for computing the orbit of Halley's Comet. It is the only short-period comet that is clearly visible to the naked eye from Earth, appearing every 75-76 years. Halley's Comet has been observed by astronomers since at least 240 BC.


Stephen William Hawking
(born 1942)
A British theoretical physicist known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes. He has also achieved success with works of popular science in which he discusses his theories and cosmology in general. Hawking was diagnosed with a neuro-muscular dystrophy at age 21 that has progressed over the years and left him almost completely paralyzed.


Caroline Lucretia Herschel
(1750 – 1848)
A British astronomer who discovered several comets. She worked with her brother, astronomer Sir Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel, and verified his findings after his death. In 1828 the Royal Astronomical Society presented her with their Gold Medal for her catalog of nebulae. No woman would be awarded it again until 1996.

Edwin P. Hubble   Christiaan Huygens   Johannes Kepler   Gerard Peter Kuiper

Edwin P. Hubble
(1889 - 1953)
An American astronomer whose observations proved that galaxies are "island universes," not nebulae inside our own galaxy. His greatest discovery, called "Hubble's Law," was the linear relationship between a galaxy's distance and the speed with which it is moving. The Hubble Space Telescope is named in his honor.


Christiaan Huygens
(1629 - 1695)
A Dutch physicist who was the leading proponent of the wave theory of light, he also made important contributions to mechanics. He discovered Titan (Saturn's largest moon) and was the first to correctly identify the presence of Saturn's rings.


Johannes Kepler
(1571 - 1630)
A German astronomer and mathematician, he is  considered founder of modern astronomy, celestial mechanics, and modern optics. Kepler formulated the famous three laws of planetary motion. He was the first one to explain the principles of how a telescope works, first to investigate the formation of pictures with a pin hole camera, and first to explain the use of both eyes for depth perception.


Gerard Peter Kuiper
(1905 –1973)
A Dutch-American astronomer, he discovered carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mars and the existence of a methane-laced atmosphere above Saturn's satellite Titan. A region of small planets beyond Neptune is known as the "Kuiper belt," since Kuiper suggested that small planets or comets may have formed there.

Isaac Newton   Isaac Newton        

Isaac Newton
(1642 – 1727)
An English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian who is considered by many to be one of the most influential people in human history. In his 1687 publication, Principia, Newton described gravity and the three laws of motion which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries.


Louis Pasteur
(1822 – 1895)
A French chemist and microbiologist who is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of disease. He invented a method to stop milk and wine from causing sickness, a process that came to be called pasteurization. He is regarded as one of the three main founders of microbiology, and he made many discoveries in the field of chemistry.