By Grace Stumpf (7th grade) and James Walker (8th grade)
DreamUp is a company creating an educational community where students can participate in space-based research and projects, in partnership with their sister company, Nanoracks. As students in the iLEAD Student Aerospace Projects DreamUp to Space program, we had the pleasure of interviewing DreamUp staff members Alison Waterman and Lauren Milord.
Alison Waterman is a project specialist at DreamUp.
As middle schoolers ourselves, we asked Waterman what middle school was like for her. She said that during her middle school life, she did a lot of different activities, including math club, track, and music. She liked writing and reading fantasy and sci-fi.
Waterman later graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi with a degree in electrical engineering. As soon as she graduated, she started looking for companies that worked on space-focused projects. When she found DreamUp, she interned for three months and then joined full-time.
In her role as project specialist, Waterman is responsible for running other programs like DreamUp to Space and planning teacher training sessions and many other projects. Waterman likes how space creates different problems to solve, and her favorite part of the job is seeing people study and transform their lives, education, and the world.
Lauren Milord is director of programs at DreamUp.
When we asked Milord about her middle school experience, she told us that she switched from public to Catholic school in 5th grade and was the nerdy one who did well with her grades and assignments. When it came to extracurricular activities, Milord did everything her school offered. She liked drama club and even played the viola. She participated in math tournaments, and she remembers fondly that her team would go out to eat together afterward.
Milord graduated from Tufts University with a degree in international relations. She went to work for Boston Public Schools, and then she heard about DreamUp through a friend, who had met Milord’s then-future boss at a rocket launch.
Before she took a job at DreamUp, Milord said she was not very interested in space at all, but now she loves her profession. Interestingly, while she was still in middle school, Milord had taken a career quiz that said she should be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon. Even though she didn’t become either, she is glad she entered the space industry.
As director of programs at DreamUp, Milord oversees projects that customers are working on. She makes sure DreamUp is operating according to plan. She finds opportunities for DreamUp to participate in and works with Nanoracks to make sure everything goes smoothly. She also oversees activities that Waterman works on, including STEM kits.
Thanks to DreamUp, Waterman and Milord for helping more people than ever to participate in the ever-growing space industry.