News Release

Ball Aerospace Speakers & Exhibits Featured at Space Foundation’s NASA Astronaut Outreach Program

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 9, 2016) – The Space Foundation is taking its Space in the Community STEM education program to St. Vrain Valley Schools in February.

Former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao, Ph.D., will share his experiences in space with students at several St. Vrain Valley Schools in Erie and Longmont, Colo., and will also join a panel discussion for a free public presentation and Star Party on Feb. 17 at Erie High School.

Space in the Community features presentations by former NASA astronauts to spark students’ interest in STEM subjects -- science, technology, engineering and math -- with the goal of inspiring students to pursue careers in those fields.

Free Public Presentation and Star Party
The student presentations will not be open to the general public, but the public is invited to attend a free panel discussion and Star Party for viewing the night sky at Erie High School, in Erie, Colo., on Wednesday, Feb. 17, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Due to limited seating, an admission ticket must be picked up in advance of the Feb. 16 public presentation.  The free tickets are available at any of the participating school offices. More information about tickets is available by calling (303)828-3395.

Panelists include:

  • Leroy Chiao, Ph.D., former NASA astronaut and Space Foundation Special Advisor – Human Spaceflight.

  • Sherri Fike, former Vice President for Mission Assurance, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. 

  • Lisa Hardaway, Ph.D., Senior Project Engineer, Orion Program, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

  • Col. Joseph Kittenger, USAF (Ret.), Kittenger set a world record for the longest skydive from a height of more than 19 miles, and was the first man to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a gas balloon.

    The St. Vrain Valley Schools Space in the Community program was organized by Lauren Eker, Principal, Erie Elementary School, and Kristina Stem, Erie Elementary School STEM Coordinator/Science Lab Instructor. It is jointly sponsored by the Space Foundation and the Education Foundation for the St. Vrain Valley, funded in part by a STEM grant from the Amgen Foundation. The Education Foundation provides resources and educational opportunities in partnership with St. Vrain Valley Schools that enhance student success and teacher excellence.

    About Space in the Community
    The Space Foundation's Space in the Community program was created to support a community approach to inspiring students' interest in STEM education, and to help all members of a community discover how interest in space can bring the community together.

    Space in the Community incorporates the Space Foundation's Audience with an Astronaut™ education program, featuring former NASA astronauts giving presentations that explain how science, technology, engineering and math is applied in space.

    Learn more about Space in the Community, and other Space Foundation STEM education programs, by visiting

    About the Space Foundation
    Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is the foremost advocate for all sectors of space, and is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium, in support of its mission "to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity." Space Foundation World Headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA, has a public Discovery Center, including El Pomar Space Gallery, Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere® and the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center. The Space Foundation has a field office in Houston and conducts government affairs from its Washington, D.C., office. It publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity, and through its Space CertificationTM and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, the Space Foundation recognizes space-based innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth.  Visit, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Flickr and YouTube, and read our e-newsletter Space Watch.