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Carolina Biological Supply Company Inspires K-12 Students with Young People’s Space Success Stories During Space Week

Julie Gates for Carolina Biological Supply Company
562-429-5972 or jgatespr@yahoo.com

Carolina celebrates World Space Week showcasing the future of science through free success stories about young space professsionals including Madalynne LaLanne a talented test technician at SpaceX

BURLINGTON, NC, Oct. 4, 2022 –Leading school science supplier Carolina Biological welcomed teachers and students back to school during World Space Week with space career success stories as part of its Young Innovators program to inspire K-12 students and teachers. These high-interest profiles are free resources, perfect for engaging students in learning science, while promoting equity and inclusion. To coincide with classroom lessons during World Space Week, Carolina launched a special collection of short success stories featuring six young women in space-related careers to inspire students who are interested in STEM. The profiles are for Success Stories in STEM: Space. Two of the six impressive space science stars featured are Madalynne LaLanne, an environmental test technician at SpaceX, and Elizabeth Gabler, a neutron radiographer at McClellan Nuclear Research Center, which does testing for NASA and SpaceX.

Brief video interviews with these women share insights about their recent journeys into exciting science careers are also posted online to encourage students to pursue careers in the space industry. Success Stories in STEM: Space is free and includes English and Spanish literacy cards at two reading levels, available online now. Carolina also released a new series of eight Young Innovators, featuring profiles of K-12 student inventors. These resources are also free and posted online now at CarolinaYoungInnovators.com.

The first profile in Success Stories in STEM: Space is Madalynne LaLanne, who has been asking questions as long as she can remember. As a kid, she wanted to know how things worked and why events were happening. She later enjoyed doing experiments and pushing herself to understand physics.

LaLanne is an environmental test technician at SpaceX and is working to be an engineer. She tests different parts of satellites in situations that they will go through in space. Before SpaceX, she helped NASA design and build equipment to test satellites.

"During college, some professors were running a cube satellite testing lab to test different types of satellites that they wanted to put into space," said Madalynne LaLanne, environmental test technician at SpaceX in Hawthorne, CA. "I was really interested in that since satellites are really cool! I became their vacuum chamber expert to run their system tests and create tests for apparatuses and fixtures. Persistence was a key to my success and taking science one step at a time, I find that the challenge is the fun part of it!"

LaLanne’s advice to students is that science isn’t as scary as it may seem. Take problems one step at a time. Keep trying, experiment, and never stop asking questions.

Another example of Success Stories in STEM: Space is Elizabeth Gabler, age 24, who works at a research nuclear reactor doing nondestructive testing for NASA, SpaceX, and the US Department of Defense. She mostly works on the Artemis program, a NASA-led spaceflight program. She’s hoping to put boot prints back on the Moon and eventually on Mars.

"Math and science were always my favorite subjects at school," said Elizabeth Gabler, neutron radiographer at McClellan Nuclear Research Center in CA. "In my work now, I get to see different pieces of spacecraft and planes – we do everything that flies or goes into space. Testing things for NASA and fighter jets, space station, and rockets. A lot passes through our facility. It’s a lot of figuring out how to N-ray them and critical thinking. I have to try things and if they don’t work, try again. I have to get very creative! There were times as a freshman in college I thought I would never be able to do math that the upper division students were doing and it was scary, but I just had to take baby steps."

Gabler is one of the top young STEM innovators of the world. When she was only 19- years-old, she helped design an asteroid-ramming spacecraft. Elizabeth says it all started with a peek at Mars through a small telescope when she was four years old. Elizabeth has always liked science. She began studying astrophysics while working at a local observatory in high school. Then as a college student, she became the youngest team member ever to work on NASA’s double asteroid re-direction test (DART). The goal of the test is to hit a small moon alongside an asteroid to change the orbit of the asteroid. DART may show how to protect humans by keeping an approaching asteroid from hitting Earth.

A diverse selection of new Young Innovators is featured on CarolinaYoungInnovators.com so that all students can see examples of students that they can relate to. From their classrooms or at home, teachers can engage students in learning science. The site launched last year with profiles and will recognize their accomplishments by honoring a Young Innovator of the Month every month. Carolina is searching for more Young Innovators to highlight, so teachers are encouraged to nominate their students.

"The space industry is going to need ideas and expertise from the next generation so we wanted to showcase younger people who are already solving problems in science with our Success Stories in STEM: Space and Young Innovators program," said Karen Stevens, Vice President of Curriculum at Carolina Biological Supply Company. "Just learning what some of these young professionals and students are doing gives kids positive examples of what they can achieve too in the near future and literally to reach for the stars. Two of our space successes, Madalynne LaLanne and Elizabeth Gabler, both have great advice for students—especially girls—about following your dreams and being patient while learning science in school."

Young Innovators

In addition to the space successes, Carolina is celebrating some creative and amazing K12 students as Young Innovators nationwide and sharing their stories. Stephen Litt (12) researched green tea and found that something in it kills cancer for a middle-school science fair project. Lydia Denton (10) designed a car seat to keep babies safe. Neha Shukla (15) created a device to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Jordan Prawira (12) invented a wind turbine to cut fossil-fuel emissions. His sister Jacqueline Prawira (14) developed bio.fiber.plastic to reduce plastic waste. Rachel Pizzalato (14) invented a helmet to protect football players. Talie Cloud (14) used a bitter melon seed as an organic insecticide. And Christina Yepez (13) melted foam cups to make super sticky glue.


Carolina’s Success Stories in STEM: Space and Young Innovators program profile cards for K-12 teachers and students are available now in digital format through Carolina Biological. The resources are free of charge and every story is accessible in elementary and secondary reading levels in English and Spanish. For information, visit carolina.com/younginnovators, call (800) 334-5551, or e-mail young.innovators@carolina.com.

Carolina Biological Supply Company

From its beginnings in 1927, Carolina (www.carolina.com) has grown to become the leading supplier of science teaching materials in the world. Headquartered in Burlington, NC, Carolina serves customers worldwide, including teachers, students, and professionals in science and health-related fields. The company is still privately owned by descendants of the founder, geology and biology professor Dr. Thomas E. Powell, Jr.