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Apr 2, 2013 7:40 PM by Andy Koen

Beauty queen and astronaut to visit Girl Scouts at Academy

US AIR FORCE ACADEMY - The reigning Miss Mississippi and a retired astronaut will meet with Girl Scouts from around Southern Colorado this weekend at the US Air Force Academy as they learn about careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

Ms. Paromita Mitra, an aerospace engineering student at Mississippi State University, and retired astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao are coming to Colorado Springs as guests of the Cadet Wing STEM Outreach Club, and the local group Cool Science.

On Friday morning, Ms. Mitra will help to lead a rocket engine test fire demonstration for 500 regional students during the Space Foundation's Audience with an Astronaut event. Later that evening, she'll work with 50 local middle school girls at the Academy's Observatory where they will take pictures of celestial bodies, learn to use starfinders and work with new portable telescopes.

On Saturday, the Girl Scouts will take part in a variety of workshops to earn their Stem Badges. Those workshops include a Bungee Barbie experimental where the girls record data and use math to determine how many rubber bands are needed to make a bungee cord to prevent Barbie from touching the ground after a fall of more than 15 feet. The girls will also work with Ms. Mitra on electrical circuits and batteries and participate in the Chemistry Magic Show.

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