Catherine Bahm

When my second-grade teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, I said that I wanted to be the first female astronaut. Boys in the class quipped that girls couldn’t be astronauts, but my teacher replied that I could be whatever I wanted to be. At that moment, I decided that I would work hard and do what it would take to follow my dream of working for NASA, a dream I’d had for as long as I can remember.

Years later, I mentioned my love of fighter jets, like those in the Top Gun movie, to my freshman Algebra 2 teacher. She recommended that I consider becoming an aerospace engineer. From that point on, I was determined to work for NASA as an aerospace engineer. I knew the path I needed to follow, so I took math, science, and drafting classes that prepared me to attend an engineering college. Looking back, I was fortunate to have teachers, many of them female, who were strong in math and science and really pushed me to excel. Keep reading →