Michelle Lucas spent 10+ years working at NASA's Johnson Space Center. First as part of the International Space Station (ISS) Payload Safety Review Panel (PSRP) and then in the Mission Operations Directorate as a Flight Controller in ISS Mission Control and as a Astronaut Instructor in the ISS Daily Operations Group. Additionally she worked with each of the International Partners (European Space Agency – ESA, Japanese Space Agency – JAXA and the Russian Space Agency) in the field of Daily Operations, Flight Controller and Instructor Training. Michelle was part of the Core NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) team for 9 missions where astronauts would carry out analog space missions underwater in the Aquarius habitat. Along the way, Michelle found she has a passion for launching the next generation's dreams and ambitions. Her passion for inspiring students led to extensive work with other organizations in STEM outreach so she founded the non-profit Higher Orbits to use space to excite and inspire students about STEM, Leadership, Teamwork and Communication. Michelle is proud to be a Space Camp Alum and member of the Space Camp Hall of Fame. She believes that collaboration in space and STEM is the key to the stars! Space Inspires!
Retired Navy Captain, helicopter pilot, and engineer. Lawrence was the first female Naval Academy Graduate to become an Astronaut. She flew aboard 4 space shuttle flights STS-67, STS-86, STS-91, STS-114 as a Mission Specialist. These flights included a trip to the Mir space station and she was on the Return to Flight mission after Columbia. She is one of only 11 astronauts to train for a flight to the Russian Space Station Mir. Lawrence is passionate about students and inspiring the next generation to "Dare to Dream" especially in fields of STEM.
Jennifer’s love for space came when she imagined herself as Christa McAuliffe. She too wanted to be the first teacher in space however due to poor eyesight that dream had to be put off to the side. Instead, Jennifer has used her passion for space science by attending Space Camp and Advanced Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama where she re-united her passion for all things space. In the summer, you can find her training teachers from around the world at space camp at the United States Space and Rocket Center. In the summer 2013, she and four other teacher friends conducted a science experiment on board the Zero G plane to see how various materials cleaned up spills in microgravity. She currently teaches sixth grade science at Zuni Hills Elementary School in the Peoria Unified School District. Her motto is “Dare Mighty Things.”
Jeff Herold has been teaching since 2000 and has taught everything from Kindergarten through 12th grade and community college. Currently, he teaches S.T.E.M. to 7th and 8th graders at Hillcrest Middle School in Glendale, Arizona. While not volunteering at local elementary schools at their science nights, he enjoys paragliding, attending professional development, and spending time with his family. His favorite student is his 6th grade son, Skyler. Jeff is the 2015 Arizona Air Force Association Teacher of the Year and 2015 Arizona Challenger Space Center Educator of the Year. Jeff is a member of The Mars Generation Student Space Ambassador Planning Committee and the Train Like a Martian Planning Committee. You can follow his S.T.E.M. adventures on Twitter @STEMJeff.
Zuni Hills Elementary School is part of the Peoria Unified School District, which is one of the largest districts in the state of Arizona. It serves students in kindergarten through 8th grade. There are approximately 950 students in the school. Their annual STEAM night held in February each year has over 600 attendees. This annual event features hands on stations for kids of all ages, an art project, a photo book, food trucks and telescopes from Stargazing for Everyone.