North Dakota Students Can Compete for Research Opportunity on the International Space Station with Higher Orbits

Higher Orbits 

Whitney Zatzkin

North Dakota Students Can Compete for Research Opportunity on the International Space Station with Higher Orbits

Higher Orbits wants North Dakota’s student-led research to go to space! 

Higher Orbits will present the North Dakota Space Ag Series of Go For Launch! events in Bismarck (July 6-8) and Fargo (August 16-18), thanks to partnerships with Grand Farm, energized by Emerging Prairie, and National Day Calendar. The series was put in motion in 2019, when Michelle Lucas, Founder and Executive Director of Higher Orbits, delivered her talk, “Failure Must Be An Option,” at TEDxFargo. 

“For thousands of years, space has fascinated mankind to think about what's possible. As Grand Farm hopes to solve the biggest problems in agriculture, our eyes go upward to think about how mankind will continue to grow food as we become an interstellar species,” said Andrew Jason, Director of Ecosystem for Emerging Prairie. “That's why we're so excited to partner with Higher Orbits and educate the next generation of innovators in agriculture.” The events are named for the upcoming Space Ag Conference.

“Space inspires! For most of us, when we first grew a plant from a bean in school, we weren’t thinking about zero gravity agriculture, but finding the solutions to strengthen space agriculture is a pressing demand,” says Lucas. “Higher Orbits fully embraces any opportunity to provide hands-on learning to students that demonstrates the real-life applications of something thought to be science fiction - encouraging students to make it a science reality.” 

As the flagship, hands-on educational experience at Higher Orbits, Go For Launch! delivers a multi-day, in-person, truly out-of-this-world experience to 8th-12th grade students. Go For Launch! leverages spaceflight and space exploration as the launchpad for students to develop and strengthen their skills in STEM, teamwork, communication, research design, and leadership. 

“National Day Calendar is excited to be a part of this amazing opportunity with Higher Orbits. We look forward to meeting the North Dakota students that participate in Go For Launch!,” says Marlo Anderson, Founder of National Day Calendar.

Go For Launch! students work side-by-side with an astronaut for the entire event – learning, growing, and developing the life-long skills that create a successful, meaningful future. Astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger will join students in Bismarck and Astronaut Don Thomas will join students in Fargo as students prepare their research studies for competition. Through its partners and supporters, Higher Orbits secures opportunities for selected student-led initiatives to fly to space for study. 

Go For Launch! Bismarck will be held July 6-8, 2021 and Go For Launch! Fargo will be held August 16-18, 2021. Student researchers can be enrolled in 8th through 12th grade at any school in the state, including home school, but must be available for all three days for one of these events. Interested students can register online at:

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. 

From novice to advanced level activities drawing from the Science Futures by Design curriculum at Higher Orbits, students from all STEM backgrounds will find the GFL! experience a user-friendly environment to learn, explore, and inspire others.

About Grand Farm, Higher Orbits Go For Launch! Fargo partner

Grand Farm aims to capitalize on the region’s potential in the agriculture and technology industries. The Grand Farm Test Site will create the farm of the future by 2025 as the global example in solving challenges to farming worldwide, while unleashing vast new potential for technology for the greater good. It will do so by growing and inspiring regional businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs to collaborate globally in developing technological and human solutions for farming in a new era. Grand Farm will host the Space Ag Conference in 2021 to energize the community around advanced agriculture technologies by looking at the future of the industry and how to grow food in space. 

About National Day Calendar, Higher Orbits Go For Launch! Bismarck partner

National Day Calendar is the authoritative source for National Days, Weeks and Months.  Followed by over 20,000 media outlets and a reach into the hundreds of millions, National Day Calendar has become the #1 Trending Topic of all time.  Go to and Celebrate Every Day.


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