Higher Orbits Go For Launch! Space-Inspired STEM Event Returns to Sault Ste Marie This July

 Higher Orbits 

Michelle Lucas


Higher Orbits Go For Launch! Space-Inspired STEM Event Returns to Sault Ste Marie This July

Higher Orbits Galactic HQ – July 9, 2024 – Higher Orbits is bringing its flagship program, Go For Launch! back to Sault Ste Marie this July to help inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Held at Lake Superior State University, students in grades 8-12 will participate in space-based group activities that are designed to help them develop critical skills needed for success in their future careers.  

Throughout the three-day-long event, students will have the opportunity to work with a featured astronaut, and a number of other aerospace professionals, as they design an experiment that could one day fly to space. This unique opportunity offers students the chance to learn through mentorship and in group settings.

Retired NASA astronaut Tony Antonelli will be the featured astronaut at this event. Antonelli flew on multiple space shuttle missions for NASA and believes mentorship and working with students is part of what makes these opportunities so rewarding.   

"Taking part in the Go For Launch! program changed my views on space and science," said Zahraa Mahmud, who participated in the 2023 program. "Before Go For Launch!, "space" was just a small chapter in my life—now it's the foundation of my aspirations. My eyes light up every time I hear the words "rocket" and "space."

Go For Launch! is the hands-on flagship program of Higher Orbits, a non-profit that aims to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The program is designed for students of all backgrounds—from the STEM novice to the more experienced—with the hopes of helping ALL students gain the skills and confidence necessary to enter the workforce as the STEMists and Explorers of the future.  

The students work with industry professionals on teamwork, communication, research design, and leadership skills. While focusing on spaceflight, Go For Launch! students have the chance to work alongside a featured astronaut at each event to learn and develop important skills that can be applied in any professional field.

"The opportunity that Go For Launch! provides is very unique and powerful for students,  as the only event of its kind in Michigan this year, student participants will have the opportunity to learn directly from astronauts and space professionals as they develop STEM skills through space exploration team building experiences," said Kevin St. Onge, EUP MiSTEM region diretor. "Go For Launch! is truly an experience that will expand horizons and open up a whole new world of possibilities for youth in our communities and we are excited to continue this Higher Orbits partnership!"  

Go For Launch! participants not only have access to incredible mentors, they also have the opportunity to compete to design an experiment that could fly to the International Space Station.  

One team will be selected as the winners of the Go For Launch! Sault Ste Marie event. Their team's experiment will then further compete against winning experiments selected from other Higher Orbits 2024 series events, which includes events in Cape Canaveral, FL and Mars, PA, among others. Space Tango, a Higher Orbits partner, will then build the overall winner's experiment, which will launch on a future cargo mission to the International Space Station.  

"The Go For Launch! program inspired me to pursue a career in the space industry," said Siri Olson, member of the 2023 team Space Shell 6. "It is truly such a wonderful program and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in STEM."  

Go For Launch! Sault Ste Marie is open to students in grades 8-12 (including rising 8th graders and recently graduated seniors.) Running July 23-25, 2024, Go For Launch! Sault Ste Marie will be held at Lake Superior State University. Interested students can register online at www.GoForLaunch.space. Financial aid is available to students who need assistance to attend this event.  

Go For Launch! Sault Ste Marie is generously supported by the following sponsors: Nebula Navigators Michigan Space Grant Consortium, Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District, Lake Superior State University, and Easter Upper Peninsula Region MiSTEM Network; Pluto Pioneers Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation and the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation; and Intergalactic Voyagers A-B Emblem, uniphi space agency, Space Tango, and Space Shirts. All Go For Launch! Events are supported by the IDEA Space Coalition which is supported by Burns & McDonnell, Iridium, and Ridgeline International. 

Higher Orbits is truly honored to work with many communities, companies, and individuals. It's through these partnerships that the organization is able to inspire the next generation of STEMists and explorers—the future workforce of our country.  

About Higher Orbits

Founded in 2015, Higher Orbits is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization creating an experiential learning lab for secondary school students across the United States, focused on the multi-faceted worlds of space exploration, research, and spaceflight in order to launch the next generation workforce our world desires. www.higherorbits.org  


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