2018 Series Event
Feb 21-22, 2018 - Leominster, MA
Students Grades 8-12
Flyer graciously created & donated by: www.pro-cad.net
Tara Sweeney has been inspiring children and adults to see the wonder of space exploration and the importance of the STEM fields that make it possible for nearly four decades. She has served as CEO, President, Interim Executive Director, COO, CSO, and Vice President, of technology test and evaluation organizations focused on operations in austere and hazardous environments for national defense, homeland security, and intelligence community projects. Tara is a retired United States Air Force Special Operations Command Officer. She has engaged in both military and civilian aviation activities, including as a single-engine aircraft pilot, a glider student pilot, a helicopter maintenance officer, a parabolic operations flight coach, and a parabolic operations flight attendant. Tara has accumulated approximately five hours in microgravity while conducting space-based research experiments and training participants how to experience reduced gravity. She previously served as the leader of the world-renowned STEM education program, Space Camp, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and was inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame in 2018. Tara holds degrees from the United States Air Force Academy, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Regis University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of Texas at El Paso in lunar geology. She recently served as a field scientist on a National Science Foundation Antarctic Science Expedition to Thwaites Glacier during the 2022-2023 Field Season. Tara is from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and has twice been inducted into the Fitchburg High School Athletic Hall of Fame as an Individual Inductee and as a Team Inductee. She presently lives in El Paso, Texas, with her wife, Dr. Jennifer Bishop, and their cat, Bluey.
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 an 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, AIAA Associate Fellow, 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!
Boys & Girls Club of
Fitchberg & Leominster
365 Lindell Ave
Leominster, MA , 01453