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WHO: Valparaiso University’s student-run Science Olympiad team welcomes Michelle Ham, director of the International Space School Education Trust and former NASA astronaut instructor and flight controller.

Ham spent 10 years working at NASA for a contractor primarily in International Space Station (ISS) Flight Control as an operations planner and astronaut instructor. During this time, Ham trained nearly every astronaut in the corps for their expeditionary flight to ISS or their space shuttle flight to ISS. She was also responsible for the majority of technical and basic instructional training for flight controllers and instructors internationally, and she was a core team member and operations planner for the unique NASA Extreme Environment Missions Operations project.

In 2010, Ham became an independent consultant and has since done extensive work with the International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET) to inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields through the use of space. Ham has been instrumental in the creation of Mission Discovery and various leadership programs offered by ISSET.

WHAT: Ham will present at Valparaiso University’s second annual Science Olympiad, an academic competition that consists of 23 STEM-related events in which teams of middle or high school students participate.

Ham’s presentation will focus on her work with NASA and the Mission Discovery camp, which comes to Valpo July 21-25. At the camp, students in high school and college have the opportunity to work with astronauts, rocket scientists, and NASA leaders as they compete to have an experiment launched and conducted on the International Space Station.

WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2:05 p.m.

WHERE: Neils Science Center Room 234, Valparaiso University