Deerfield Go For Launch! Press Release

Contact: Michelle Lucas
Higher Orbits

Nonprofit Uses Space Exploration to Promote Student Engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
February 3, 2016—Leesburg, Va.— Higher Orbits will hold Go For Launch! at Deerfield High School for the second year March 4-6th. Local students, from any school, will have the opportunity to participate in the three-day program that that uses space exploration as a platform to launch student engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), STEAM (Art), while encouraging development of teamwork, communication, and leadership skills.

Through their participation in Go For Launch! students will learn about human spaceflight and receive insight and feedback through a variety of hands-on activities delivered by experienced space and STEM professionals. Speakers scheduled to participate in this event include retired Astronaut Frank Culbertson, former ISS Flight Controller and Astronaut Instructor Michelle Lucas and other space & STEM professionals. The goal is to inspire tomorrow’s scientists and engineers by illustrating the numerous opportunities that exist in STEM-related careers.

The students will participate in collaborative activities and develop the idea for a space experiment, which they will present to a panel of judges in the space and STEM fields (including an astronaut). The judges will choose a winner at each Go For Launch! event. The winners from each event in the division will place their experiments in competition for the divisional title and that winner will see their experiment launched into space.

“I can’t wait to meet the students who will be participating in the Deerfield Go For Launch! program from March 4-6,” said Astronaut Don Thomas. “As a former International Space Station Program Scientist, I’m excited to see what experiment proposals the students come up with. What an amazing opportunity for these students and future scientists and engineers!”

Deerfield was host to Go For Launch! in June of 2016 and the winning team from this event was chosen as the overall Division Winner of the Andromeda Division and will have their experiment launched to the International Space Station.

“It’s exciting to be back in Deerfield for Go For Launch! especially given that the winning team from the 2016 Deerfield event was chosen as the overall Andromeda Division winner and will have their experiment launched to the International Space Station in 2017!” says Higher Orbits Founder & President Michelle Lucas. “I can’t wait to see what the students at the Deerfield Program in 2017 come up with for their experiment ideas.”

Go For Launch! will run March 4-6, 2017 for students grade 8-12. Students from all schools are welcome to attend. The program will be held at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, IL. Registration for students is $250 and includes all supplies, snacks, and meals as well as event shirt and patch. To register, or for more information, please visit

“We are excited to offer this opportunity to not only our students but to all students in the area interested in space exploration” said Joe Taylor, Assistant Principal, Deerfield, for STEAM Instruction. “It isn’t every day that you have a chance to learn about space from a real astronaut! You know you are on the right track when you explain the program and teenagers gasp with excitement!”

Go For Launch! in Deerfield, IL is supported by following Sponsors – Intergalactic Sponsors: AIAA, Space Tango, Kentucky Space, and Space Shirts. Without these sponsors, this event would not be possible. Sponsorship opportunities are available at various levels for individual events, divisions, or the overall program. For more details please contact Michelle Lucas at or call 707-893-STAR.

About Higher Orbits
Higher Orbits is a 501(c)3 non-profit with the mission of promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); along with leadership, teamwork, and communication through the use of spaceflight. Mankind’s journey into space serves as an ideal launchpad to excite students of all ages about STEM and working to fulfill their dreams and ambitions. Higher Orbits uses a variety of programs and partnerships with other organizations to achieve these goals and is excited to be holding events across the US in 2017. To learn more visit

About Astronaut (Retired) Don Thomas
Selected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Thomas became an astronaut in July 1991. Dr. Thomas has served in the Safety, Operations Development, and Payloads Branches of the Astronaut Office. He was CAPCOM (spacecraft communicator) for Shuttle missions STS-47, 52 and 53. From July 1999 to June 2000 he was Director of Operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. A veteran of four space flights, STS-65, STS-70, STS-83 and STS-94, he has logged over 1,040 hours in space as a Mission Specialist. To learn more visit

Additional Photo Collaterals, including event patch available. Astronaut interview also available. Please contact for details.

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