By Grace Stumpf & Raegan Brown
DreamUp to Space is a project that challenges young people to understand and explore the impact that microgravity has on matter. Through a partnership with DreamUp, iLEAD learners in grades 5-12 are inspired to develop the skills and knowledge to design, develop, and propose an experiment that could be run on the International Space Station.
In July of 2020, two teams from iLEAD Schools were selected for flight in the 2020 DreamUp to Space Virtual Mission & Experiment Design Challenge. Currently, learners from across the network were selected and are now collaborating on these two “Launch Teams” — Team Carrot and Team Adzuki — in preparation for a spring launch of their experiments to the International Space Station.
Each learner has unique interests, strengths, and goals to bring to each team. We’d like to introduce you to our team members! Today we’re introducing Michele Mountain.
Meet Michele Mountain
Michele Mountain is a 5th grader at SCVi and a member of Team Carrot. Some of her hobbies include rollerblading and biking, doing science experiments, traveling with her family, playing card games, learning how to boogie board, building Lego sets, and playing with her cats.
Michele is always curious and looking to learn new things. Michele also loves fast roller coasters, sushi, and playing basketball. Because of the DreamUp to Space program and the things she’s learned from it, Michele would like to become an astronaut one day. She plans to be on the ISS, and she’d love to go to the moon as well. We had a chance to ask Michele a few questions about the project and a few fun questions as well.
How has DreamUp to Space inspired you? And in what ways has it challenged you?
“DreamUp to Space has inspired me to love learning about space. I have been challenged to think about things that we can do now to help space exploration in the future. I have been inspired by this project to want to become an astronaut. Because of that, I have worked very hard at DreamUp, and I have realized that just wanting something isn’t enough. Things won’t just be handed to me. I have to work really hard for them. This project has influenced me in a positive way because I’ve found something I really love, so I want to do the hard work.”
How does it feel to have the opportunity very few people have ever had—to be part of a team sending an experiment to space?
“I feel so excited and happy to have this opportunity. I get butterflies when I think about being part of space history. I am honored and can’t even put into words how much I love it. This is a huge privilege, and I feel very lucky.”
Who do you look up to?
“I want to thank Ms. Brown. She is the one who originally inspired me to join DreamUp. She believes in me and supports my ideas. She pushes me to try hard, but she’s always there to help if I need it. She’s the best facilitator I’ve ever had.”
We look forward to introducing more team members to you soon!