Press Release

Conrad Foundation: Student-developed ‘STEM Bar’ to fly aboard Endeavour on STS-134

By SpaceRef Editor
May 12, 2011
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Conrad Foundation: Student-developed ‘STEM Bar’ to fly aboard Endeavour on STS-134

Student Entrepreneurs Seek Media Opportunities to Champion STEM Education

What: Student entrepreneurs available for interviews on Monday, May16 at Kennedy Space Center.

High school entrepreneurs Mikayla and Shannon Diesch, winners of the 2010 Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation Awards, will be at the launch of STS-134 as they watch Endeavour journey to the International Space Station with their newly developed STEM Bar aboard.

Since winning the 2010 competition, the Diesch sisters have continued to develop the nutrition bar concept for use as a tool to inspire their peers to study science, technology engineering and math and seek careers in aerospace. Team AM Rocks including team members, Ethan Rutherford, Naomi Joseph and the Diesch sisters, created Solar Flare: the Star bar and won the 2010 Spirit of Innovation Awards. This concept was the catalyst for the development of the STEM bar, which is launching on Endeavour Monday.

The STEM Bar was developed using NASA’s standards to certify food products for spaceflight and was recently approved for flight about STS-134 after completing microbial testing at the NASA Johnson Space Center Food Lab.

Who: Mikayla Diesch – The young entrepreneur is a junior at Pennfield High School and Battle Creek’s Area Math and Science Center. She serves on the Executive Committee of “Yuri’s Night” – International Middle and High School Liaison, is also a member of the Conrad Foundation Alumni Committee and the Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center’s Student Advisory. Recently, Mikayla and her sister Shannon were part of a group of “science-oriented teens” invited to the White House by President Obama as a result of their Spirit of Innovation award receipt.

Shannon Diesch- Mikayla’s younger sister Shannon attends Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center and maintains “straight A” grades. Shannon has attended the ATYP program through Lee Honors College – Western Michigan University since 7th grade. Shannon (and Mikayla) co-founded “SAVE MI SCHOOL”, an organization dedicated to stopping the State Government of Michigan from cutting school funding. She has made time to compete in the annual “Math Olympiad” every year since she was 10.

When: Monday, May 16, 6-8:30 a.m. EST

Where: NASA, Kennedy Space Center, Press Site

Advance and Onsite Contacts: to arrange interviews please contact Julie Arnold,, (cell) 321-537-1228

About the Conrad Foundation

The Conrad Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation designed to energize and engage students in science and technology through unique entrepreneurial opportunities. The Foundation builds upon the legacy of heroes in our past to nurture the heroes of our future. By enabling young minds to connect education, innovation and entrepreneurship, the Conrad Foundation provides a bold platform for enriching 21st century education.

The Spirit of Innovation Awards is an annual Conrad Foundation competition challenging students to solve real-world problems by creating commercially viable science and technology based solutions to 21st century challenges.

SpaceRef staff editor.