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Media Invitation: Go For Launch!

Program: Go For Launch!
Date, Time: Monday – Wednesday, April 10-12, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: Stanford L. Warren Branch Library, 1201 Fayetteville St.

Media are invited to cover Go For Launch! at Stanford L. Warren Branch Library (1201 Fayetteville St., Durham, NC 27707) Monday through Wednesday, April 10-12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Go For Launch! is a three-day program presented by Durham County Library that uses space exploration as a platform to launch student engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM), while encouraging development of teamwork, communication and leadership skills.

Participants in Go For Launch!, which is run by the non-profit Higher Orbits, will include 50 local students in grades 8-12 and is being offered free-of-charge via support from the library.

Through their participation in Go For Launch! students will learn about human spaceflight and receive insight and feedback through a variety of hands-on activities delivered by experienced space and STEAM professionals. Speakers scheduled to participate in this event include retired NASA Astronaut Don Thomas, former International Space Station Flight Controller and Astronaut Instructor Michelle Lucas and other space and STEAM professionals. The goal is to inspire tomorrow’s scientists and engineers by illustrating the numerous opportunities that exist in STEAM-related careers.

Students will participate in collaborative activities and develop an idea for a space experiment, which they will present to a panel of judges in the space and STEAM fields (including an astronaut) on the final day of the program. The judges will choose a winner from Durham’s event. Durham’s winner will compete with winners from Go For Launch! events at other locations and that winner will see their experiment launched to the International Space Station.

Media interested in covering Go For Launch! should contact Matthew Clobridge at 919-560-0128 or mclobridge@dconc.gov for more information or to schedule a time to visit the program.

About Durham County Library
Durham County Library encourages Discovery, connects the Community and leads in Literacy. As a department of Durham County Government, the library furthers Goal 1 of the county’s Strategic Plan by enhancing cultural, educational and creative opportunities. For more information about the library, visit DurhamCountyLibrary.org.

About Higher Orbits
Higher Orbits is a 501(c)3 non-profit with the mission of promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); along with leadership, teamwork and communication through the use of spaceflight. Humans journeying into space serves as an ideal launch pad to excite students of all ages about STEM and working to fulfill their dreams and ambitions. Higher Orbits uses a variety of programs and partnerships with other organizations to achieve these goals and is excited to be holding events across the US in 2017. To learn more, visit http://www.HigherOrbits.org.

About Retired Astronaut Don Thomas
Selected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Thomas became an astronaut in July 1991. Dr. Thomas has served in the Safety, Operations Development, and Payloads Branches of the Astronaut Office. He was CAPCOM (spacecraft communicator) for Shuttle missions STS-47, 52 and 53. From July 1999 to June 2000 he was Director of Operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. A veteran of four space flights, STS-65, STS-70, STS-83 and STS-94, he has logged over 1,040 hours in space as a Mission Specialist. To learn more visit http://ohioastronaut.com.

Additional photo collaterals, including event patch available. Astronaut interview also available. Please contact the library for additional details.

Contact: Stephanie Bonestell
919-560-0151 or sbonestell@dconc.gov

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