Welcome to the first newsletter of The Gadget Girlz. There is plenty to share and we are looking forward to highlighting a couple of our Gadget Girlz every week via our website.

Hi, my name is Jessica Kreskay, and I am the chairperson of The Gadget Girlz. I am currently eighteen years old and graduated from high school in 2020.

As you know, we formed The Gadget Girlz to inspire females to try new things, aspire to be successful and a role model for others. The Gadget Girlz are here to stand up and change statistics in male dominated STEM fields. We have only been going since April 2020. The Gadget Girlz started with a team of eight members ranging from the ages of fifteen to twenty-one and has now grown to roughly about 50 females across Australia and the globe from all age groups.

Drone Academy

The Gadget Girlz Drone Academy first commenced in December 2020. The purpose was to learn how to fly First Person View (FPV) multi-rotors.

The Gadget Girlz meet at One Giant Leap Australia Foundation Headquarters (HQ) for practice on simulators, multi-rotors, DJI products and Remote Control aircraft. The Gadget Girlz drone team are being sponsored by DJI. By being able to practice with good quality equipment, they will be able to present workshops, deliver presentations and simulator demonstrations that will inspire other girls to try flying remote control aircraft and multi-rotors. One major aim being to increase the number of girls being engaged in this high tech pursuit.

To practice, the Gadget Girlz first flew DJI products (such as the Mavic Mini, Phantom 4) around the Hawkesbury Model Air Sports (HMAS) airfield on Bandon Road, Vineyard. They practiced flying more complicated drones on the simulators back at HQ. After hours of practice, they went back out to the field to fly real FPV drones, provided by The Gadget Girlz support crew. They had so much fun flying real FPV drones for the first time and really enjoyed flying all around the airfield. The practice really paid off. It built confidence in their ability to fly.

During their time spent at HQ, The Gadget Girlz learnt the CASA rules and regulations that are required to be followed in order to operate any kind of remote aircraft, multi-rotor or FPV drone. The rules The Gadget Girlz have learned will help them further understand the complexities of drones and this new and high tech innovation space in Australia. Safety is a crucial aspect of multi-rotor flight, so it is essential that everyone is up to date on these safety rules and regulations. In the future, when The Gadget Girlz on their robotics roadshow later in the year, they can pass this knowledge onto other aviators.

Overall, the time spent at HQ resulted in the completion of the learning process of expanding their knowledge and skills of operating all types of multi-rotors and it was beneficial to all of The Gadget Girlz. Each individual Gadget Girl has had a lot of fun flying the drones down at the airfield and training on the simulators. They got to know each other better and are experiencing many amazing opportunities.

FPV Rules for Australia

To legally fly FPV drones in Australia, the pilot must be a member of the Model Aircraft Association of Australia and fly at a CASA approved field. People under 16 must be supervised by a person over the age of 16. The Gadget Girlz are all youth members of HMAS. If you wish to know more about FPV and drones, just reach out to us.

All things drones

Did you get a drone for Christmas?
Do you want to try to fly a drone but are too scared to try?
Do you want a drone and don’t know how to fly?
Can your children fly a drone and you have no idea but you want to have a go?
Are you aware of drone regulations in Australia?
Are you interested in flying drones as a career?
Register for our free one-hour information session about drones in Australia and careers in this field. Date and time to be announced.

Email: info@gadgetgirlz.com.au to register.

Hayabusa 2

Hayabusa 2 is a space probe from Japan that took samples from 162173 Ryugu, which is an asteroid near The Earth. It launched December 3rd, 2014. It launched from Yoshinobu Launch Complex and rendezvoused in space with 162173 Ryugu on 27 June 2018. It stayed on 162173 Ryugu for one and a half years. The spacecraft deployed two rovers and a small lander onto the surface. While it was there it took samples and surveyed it. The capsule they put the samples in was 40cm in diameter. It landed in Woomera, Australia in December 2020. The mission lasted for six years During the six years it travelled 5.24 billion kilometers. Hayabusa 2 was created by JAXA.

On the Space For A Day that was held in Richmond NSW late last year, we did activities involving Hayabusa2. One of the first things we did was listen to a presentation that was created by one of The Gadget Girlz, Jessica Kreskay. It was the first time many of us had heard about Hayabusa2. We learnt about the landing site and how it was in Australia. We also learnt about why it went to space.

We were then given an activity where we had to make a 3D model of Hayabusa 2 using only paper, glue and scissors. It was a really good experience because we got to see construct our own model of Hayabusa 2 and work out how it was built and the different instruments it had onboard.

We were actually on mainstream news in Japan!

Space News!

Of course, the big news is clearly Perseverance landing on Mars. If you have been hiding somewhere and haven’t seen anything about this – there are spectacular videos, images, or sounds from the landing and early operations on the Red Planet, check it all out at http://mars.nasa.gov.

Just days before Perseverance Landing captured our imaginations, SpaceX launched 60 additional Starlink internet satellites into orbit. The company is building a new generation of space and ground communication in Earth orbit.

NASA isn’t the only organization circling Mars these days. China’s Tianwen-1 Mars Mission successfully entered Mars atmosphere 15 February. The UAE Space Agency Hope mission successfully entered Mars orbit. They are only the third country to do this successfully first time round!
Over the next few months preparations will be made for the rover onboard Tianwen-1 to land on the surface of the red planet. That landing is planned to occur sometime in May or June 2021. Stay tuned for more Mars news!

Looking ahead, in March OSIRIS-Rex will begin its long journey back to Earth where she will return a sample of Asteroid Bennu in September 2023.

International Women’s Day Feature – Bev Cook

Bev Cook’s amazing career spans 45 years. Trained as a metallurgical engineer, Bev started working as an engineer in 1975 at the age of 21. At the time she was hired, she was one of only three women engineers at a research site of 7000 people. By 1980 she was managing a small group of all male engineers.

In 1979 following the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident, Bev performed the failure analysis of the damaged reactor core. Her work in nuclear energy extended to examining the results of test performed in test nuclear reactors to provide information to be the basis for modeling, and licensing of nuclear reactors.

Bev managed a large group of scientists and engineers doing basic materials research as a contractor to the US federal government. She then became an employee of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and provided NASA the nuclear power systems for the Cassini spacecraft. Bev served as the NASA and DOE spokesperson on space nuclear systems, and explained the hazards associated with launching nuclear materials and what we have done to ensure it is safe to a wide range of media and community outlets across the U.S.

After the Cassini launch, Bev went on to manage a US National Laboratory – a facility that employed nearly 7500 individuals, and then the Environment, Safety, and Health program for DOE (about 150,000 people doing potentially dangerous things). When she left DOE, she went on to JPL and worked on developing the safety basis for a space nuclear reactor and providing a wide range of services to NASA’s Deep Space Network.

Bev’s work didn’t end there! After working for NASA, she operated a working oil field in Wyoming for 9 months and prepared it to be sold. She provided accident investigations for a wide range of incidents and accidents at high tech operations; managed the company that provides long term surveillance and maintenance of closed and cleaned up federal sites; and participated a member of advisory boards for Universities and National Laboratories

Bev’s career is a testament to what we all can do if we put our minds to it. She was a trailblazer as a woman in her field. And to realize she accomplished so much while raising a family is even more amazing. She loves to speak with young people who have an interest in STEM areas but don’t know how to get going. What are the possibilities; how to use your strengths, and how to achieve your dreams.

In Bev’s words, “None of my jobs were a plan, just opportunities that presented themselves. I always said yes when asked to take on something new. No one in my family had gone to college before me. I had no idea where my life was headed when I started working as an engineer. I also raised 4 kids. And moved a lot for work. My superpower is to talk with regular, non-scientists/engineers about technical stuff in language that can be understood.”

Stay tuned for more events and opportunities by following our Facebook page or LinkedIn page.