Stellar Students of Hazelwood Middle School to Send Their Science into Space with Higher Orbits Thanks to Purdue Zero-Gravity Programs
Higher Orbits Galactic HQ – Feb. 16, 2023 – New Albany, Indiana student team, The Space Worms, earned the opportunity of a lifetime to send their science experiment into space, thanks to grant funding secured by Dr. Steven Collicott of Purdue University.
"NASA’s Flight Opportunity Program permitted researchers to propose funding for K-12 impact, in addition to the funding for spaceflight technology research. In one winning proposal of mine, I included a request for funding to bring in Higher Orbits. I’ve known about Higher Orbits for years because Michelle Lucas played a vital founding role in me starting on zero-gravity flight experiments with NASA,” explains Dr. Collicott, who is slated to fly with his own research on a future flight with Virgin Galactic.
The impact of Dr. Collicott’s grant award on behalf of Purdue Zero-Gravity Programs allowed two classes at Hazelwood Middle School to work with retired NASA Astronaut Don Thomas. Throughout Go For Launch! New Albany, students explored STEM and space topics while working on a viable experiment design that could be successfully researched in space.
“The opportunity our students had to participate in the Go For Launch! program through Higher Orbits was exciting, engaging, and so much fun! It was an unforgettable experience and the highlight of our year,” said Hazelwood Middle School Teacher Jennie Scott.
Dylan Blair, Brooks Lozier, Olivia Quillo, Savannah Senopole, and Ryan Szymansky are the students behind Team Space Worms. Their winning experiment will look at how microgravity impacts the ability of the Hornworm to metamorphosize.
“Programs like Go For Launch! are great ways to get young students interested in future careers in math, science, and engineering, and I’m hopeful one of our Team Space Worms students were inspired enough to help join our space program in the future. How cool would that be to have the first human on Mars come from New Albany,” said Go For Launch! New Albany featured Astronaut Don Thomas.
Team Space Worms’ experiment is being developed in partnership with Higher Orbits payload integration partners Space Tango. The Indiana based team’s experiment is anticipated to launch on board SpaceX CRS-27 where it will be researched on the International Space Station.
“It was an honor to work with the out of this world students at Hazelwood Middle School back in March of 2022. We are thrilled for Team Space Worms and grateful that they were able to have this research opportunity thanks to Dr. Collicott and Purdue Zero-Gravity Programs,” said Michelle Lucas, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Higher Orbits.
The Space Worms’ experiment will be flying with three other Go For Launch! student experiments aboard SpaceX-27, bringing the grand total of experiments sent to space from this program to 17.
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 multifaceted worlds of space exploration, research, and spaceflight in order to launch the next generation workforce our world desires. www.higherorbits.org/