Youth Science Ontario’s goal is to help communities offer a range of programs so that all youth can find their passion in the fields of science, engineering and technology. We believe this support is important in helping youth understand how science activities today can translate to career opportunities and see themselves in these careers in the future. Rachel Zimmerman Brachman’s story is a recent example of this philosophy.
In 1985, Rachel participated in the London District regional science fair with her Grade 7 science project, The Blissymbol Printer – a new software program enabling severely disabled non-speaking people to communicate. The project won first prize. That same year, she went on to the Canada-Wide Science Fair winning a silver medal and showcased her project in Bulgaria at the World Exhibition of Achievement of Young Inventors.
Following this stellar year, Rachel continued towards a successful post secondary education and career path in the field of science.
She obtained a BA in physics at Brandeis University in Massachusetts and then a Masters of Space Studies at the International Space University in France. Throughout her career, Rachel has applied herself to furthering space knowledge and educating youth in Ontario, Quebec and the US. Her work has been published in a number of scientific journals and she has received numerous national and international awards for her work in Science and Technology. Currently, Rachel is the Solar System and Technology Education and Public Outreach Specialist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.
On December 3rd, Rachel was honoured in Toronto at the 2011 Women in Film and Television (WIFT) Showcase* where she was presented the Visionary Award for the very science fair project that won her first prize at the London District regional science fair 26 years ago.
* The WIFT Foundation is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the accomplishments achieved by women whose unwavering dedication to their aspirations transcends economic and cultural divided to effectuate lasting impressions on society. The Visionary Award is presented to a woman who has been an innovator in Film, Television, the Business or Political world. For more information can be found on The Women in Film and Television Showcase 2011 website.