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Kobie Boykins
Mechanical Engineering section
NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California

"Boys with Toys" What about female participation in the Mars Exploration Rovers mission?
One of the nice things about this program is that we do have a lot of women working with us, and this field needs a lot more of that. Men, in general, end up in a rut, and a lot of the creativity that gets injected into a project like this actually comes from the female side. We need it, we need that type of influence, and don't let anybody deter you. If you want to be an engineer, there's nothing that's stopping you. In fact, it's a plus... If you're a woman and you feel that engineering is the right field for you, go for it, because the opportunities are vast, and having just a little bit different way of seeing the world changes the way things happen for the actual team that you're on, having a different touch.

One of the things you'll see about the team that's down here, and I haven't used that word (team) enough, this is an immense, large team of people. You have a lot of different personalities, a lot of different creativity levels - people that are very regimented in their style, and people that are very "loosey-goosey" in how they do things - and that's what makes this team so strong. Our management has done a really good job of putting together a team of people that are very unique in their individual skills, but as a whole are able to build a vehicle like you see behind me (in PHSF) and launch it to Mars. And we're always looking for new people and new creative ideas and anybody that wants to join up, please come on, we're ready for you!

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