Salam Mulhem was torn between pursuing a career in computer engineering or aerospace engineering, but her trip to NASA’s Langley Research Center moved aerospace engineering to the forefront.

“I’d love to design aircraft or turbines or anything that flies—like planes, helicopters and satellites,” Salam said.

Her invitation to Virginia for the four-day visit came on the heels of successfully completing the online NASA Aerospace Scholars program. While at Langley, Salam and her team were given a number of tasks, including building a functional Mars Rover in six hours using Legos.

“We didn’t do so well on the first day of the competition. Our robot couldn’t collect any rocks. But, we made modifications the next day, and we had to get the Rover to pick up Hot Wheels cars and bring them back to base. That day? We rocked!” she said.

Science has been a passion for Salam, and she’s always had an interest in space.

“I never thought it was possible for me to go into engineering—not until I got into the Engineering Pathways program. And now I know I can actually do something in engineering.”

She learned a lot during the Aerospace Scholars program; most importantly—she can pursue her passion.

“When I was at Langley, they really emphasized how much there’s a place for us. They really want us to apply for an internship.” Salam, who will transfer into the Engineering Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, plans to apply for an internship.

“Fingers crossed,” she said.