Space Foundation Press Releases

Space Foundation and Petit Family Foundation Offer Free Girls STEM Experience in Hartford

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 9, 2018) – Thanks to a partnership with the Petit Family Foundation, the Space Foundation is extending its STEM education outreach to the greater Hartford, Conn., region this school year. 


The Hartford STEM initiative will launch on Saturday, Oct. 27, with a free Girls STEM Experience for local girls ages 12 to 18, to be held at the Connecticut Convention Center from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Premier sponsor for the event is Aetna.


The Experience will include a “Women in Science” panel discussion with panelists:

  • Mary Lockhart, President and CEO, PEMDAS® Technologies and Innovations
  • Karolyn Maloney, Senior Director of IT Hygiene Program and Identity and Access Management, Aetna
  • Bridget Oei, Miss Connecticut, Researcher, UConn Health
  • Dr. Kathy Thornton, Professor, University of Virginia, former NASA astronaut, Space Foundation Board Vice Chairman

The Experience also will include hands-on STEM activity stations for the girls, including robotics coding, LIDAR surface mapping, rocket engineering and a design lab. An instructional workshop for teachers during the Girls STEM Experience will show teachers the same activities so they can take them back to the classroom.


“Through its education programs, the Space Foundation is inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals. For some students, this will be their first exposure to this kind of technology, or these types of activities, and this will be the experience that inspires them to pursue a career in a STEM-related field,” said Bryan DeBates, Space Foundation Vice President – Education. “We are working to shape a dynamic and exciting future for these students.”


The morning will culminate with a luncheon and inspiring STEM presentation by former NASA astronaut and two-time Space Shuttle flier Col. Paul S. Lockhart, USAF (Ret.). The luncheon will be attended by the participating girls, their parents, teachers and invited guests.

Seating is limited to the first 200 girls who register at

About the Petit Family Foundation
The Petit Family Foundation honors the memories of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, Hayley Elizabeth Petit and Michaela Rose Petit by continuing the kindness, idealism and activism that defined their lives. The Foundation’s funds are given to foster the education of young people, especially women in the sciences; to improve the lives of those affected by chronic illnesses; and to support efforts to protect and help those affected by violence. Learn more at

About the Space Foundation
Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is a 501(c)(3) and the world’s premier organization to inspire, educate, connect, and advocate on behalf of the global space community. It is a nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs, and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium. Space Foundation headquarters is in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA, and 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 Washington, D.C., office and field representatives in Houston and the Florida Space Coast. It publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity, and through its Space CertificationTM and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, recognizes space-based innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth. Visit both of our websites – and – and follow us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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Space Foundation Media Contact:

Carol Hively, Director Public Relations & Team Communications

[email protected]