Kiera Fehr poses for a portrait. Credit Morehead State University.

A Craft Academy student will speak at the aeronautics and astronautics conference next month.

Kiera Fehr, a Lexington junior at the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics, was selected to present at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) ASCEND conference in Las Vegas which will occur November 8 through 17.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be offered the opportunity to present at the AIAA ASCEND Conference in Las Vegas,” said Fehr. “Before immersing myself in the wonderful world of Higher Orbits, I never would have dreamed that I could be a part of something so grand and so important.”

Fehr will deliver a presentation and be a member of a panel discussions regarding her involvement in STEM through Higher Orbits, a nonprofit organization that works with astronauts and space industry leaders to spark and support student-led experiments. 

"Not only am I honored to be chosen, but endlessly thankful to have such a strong support system within Higher Orbits to encourage and cheer me on to be involved with these events,” said Fehr. “Overall, it is hard for me to believe how incredibly lucky I am to be able to see and present at a conference so intertwined with the space industry.” 

Fehr, a student ambassador and advisory board member for the organization, first became involved with Higher Orbits by attending a “Go For Launch!” event in 2016 and 2019. 

“[Go for Launch!] was where I met students that would come together to form Team V Atlas, eventually winning the spot to send our experiment to space,” said Fehr. “The entire experience was incredibly moving and a spectacular reminder that dreams really can come true.”

For the launch, Fehr travelled to Cape Canaveral, Florida to watch the rocket launch, presented research in the Mars Theater at the Kennedy Space Center and presented their posted under NASA’s Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Her team projects were selected from a national series of competitions partnered with Higher Orbits.

Fehr also had one experiment launched on SpaceX Dragon and another on a test flight for Space Perspectives over the summer. Her other team project went to the edge of space aboard Neptune 1. 

She plans to speak with AIAA members and professionals in the aerospace and aeronautics industry about her experiences collaborating on two team experiments that launched into space. 

“I have been equipped with values of confidence, leadership, and appreciation of my work through Higher Orbits, and I wouldn't change anything about my experiences for the world.”  

Fehr’s conference session will take place Monday, November 15.