Our Mission: To Challenge Students

To challenge Students to excel in math and science through their active participation in space-based research.

Our Vision:

A world that values science.


Orion’s Quest is a not-for profit 501(c)(3) and your gift is tax deductible. Thanks for being a part of Orion’s Quest.


Orion’s Quest (OQ) is funded entirely through foundation grants and individual donations from generous supporters. You can support our program with a one-time donation or through our monthly giving program. We would be grateful for your support.  You can donate online here.  For any questions regarding support for Orion’s Quest please contactcontact Brett Huffmaster at bhuffmaster@orionsquest.org


Orion’s Quest was founded in 2004 following founder and current Executive Director Peter Lawrie’s service as an educational consultant to NASA when the Space Shuttle Columbia carried the Ladybugs in Space experiment into orbit on July 23, 1999.

The mission was a project within NASA’s Educational Program that allowed students to observe science experiments being conducted in space and to replicate the experiment in their classroom as controls. Lawrie saw a unique opportunity to put NASA directly into classrooms across the nation.

Orion’s Quest (OQ) launched its first mission in the 2004-05 academic year, involving 16 middle and high schools and approximately 1000 students located in five major geographic hubs across the USA.

With the success of that mission OQ continued to grow adding new missions each year and now has a robust variety of opportunities for teachers to engage students in authentic space science.

Since inception, our program has empowered almost 50,000 students to participate in research experiments being conducted by NASA or a NASA supported scientist. Reaching over 5000 students annually in 40 states and 8 foreign countries OQ continues to expand both in reach and depth.

Looking forward, we will continue to collaborate with researchers conducting experiments onboard the ISS, and in the future with those making plans to do their research on Gateway, the new space station which will orbit the Moon.


Internet managed, Orion’s Quest reaches thousands of young people across the nation and in countries around the world including, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Spain, Thailand, and United Kingdom with the challenge of academic excellence.



Bioserve Space Technologies

A Center within the Aerospace Engineering and Sciences Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. For over 25 years, BioServe has designed, built and flown microgravity life science research and hardware on over 40 space flight missions. The Center is a full-service, turn-key organization that enables its customers and partners to focus solely on research development while BioServe manages all other activities required to successfully fly experiments in microgravity. In support of the classroom research activity BioServe collects near-real time video and/or images and data from orbit and provides them to the classroom via the OQ website.


ISS U.S. National Laboratory

In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the ISS as the nation’s newest national laboratory to optimize its use for improving quality of life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The ISS U.S. National Laboratory manages a portfolio of both basic and applied research projects to support the transition of low Earth orbit to a robust space economy. A fundamental component of the ISS National Lab mission is to make the unique properties of the low Earth orbit environment available for use to non-NASA U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. Through management of a comprehensive and diverse research portfolio, the ISS National Lab is driving innovative science that can benefit life on Earth and demonstrate the value of space-based research to the American public.


Space Station Explorers

Space Station Explorers is a consortium of organizations that use the power and appeal of the International Space Station to engage students. Consortium members develop and deliver high-quality educational programs that feature science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts and skills. This includes the opportunity for students to design, build, launch and/or operate their own experiments on the ISS. The consortium works with educators, learners and explorers of all ages.

Meet The Team

The Orion’s Quest (OQ) staff is comprised of current or former educators and administrators who understand what goes on in the classroom. The OQ staff are dedicated to helping teachers connect their students with the space-based research of world class scientists.

Meet The OQ Executive Team

Pete Lawrie
Executive Director

Tom Drummond
Chief Operating Officer

Angela Krause-kuchta
Director of Education

Dan Loewen
Program Coordinator, West

Dan Wray
Program Coordinator

Brett Huffmaster
Business Service Manager

Matt Simons
Director of Technology

Bob Watson
Teacher Training Coordinator

Meet The OQ Board of Directors

Pete Lawrie
Executive Director

Mr. Robert Curtis

Louis Stodieck PH.D.

Katherine Clark PH.D.

Steve Crumb

Carla Hoehn

Meet The OQ Advisory Board

Mr. Frank Owens

Col Jack Lousma USMC (Retired)

Col Jerry Ross USAF (Retired)

Col Guy Gardner USAF (Retired)