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 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 contact Tony Mlynarek, tmlynarek@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.

We launched our first program 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.

Since inception, our program has empowered over 24,000 students to participate in research experiments being conducted by NASA or a NASA supported scientist. To date we have averaged 25 participating teachers and 70 students per teacher per year.  In 2016 our count of 41 teachers equated to almost 3000 students in the program.

Our goal for the 2017-18 school year is to serve 50 teachers each semester equating to approximately 7,300 students.


Internet managed, Orion’s Quest reaches thousands of young people
nationwide and, in some cases overseas, with the challenge of academic excellence. To date students in AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IN, KY, MA, ME, MI, MN, MT, NH, NJ, NY, OH, TX, UT, WA, WI, WV, Canada, Peru, Romania, Malaysia and Nigeria have participated in our missions.



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.


Center for Advancement of Science in Space

The sole manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. CASIS provides us with lists of the experiments to be conducted on the space station in the coming year and we are able to choose those that are most suitable to our program. CASIS also facilitates introductions to the Principal Investigators who design and conduct the experiments and the facilities where mission equipment is developed. CASIS is also an important funding partner for our work.



Our relationship with NASA and the Principal Investigators who design and implement their experiments, affords us a diverse array of experiments that we can offer to teachers for participation by their students. We believe that such a diversity of subject matters allows for the greatest number of opportunities to capture the imagination of students with wide-ranging interests.

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

Karl Klimek
Chief Administrative Officer

Angela Krause-kuchta
Director of Education

Dan Loewen
Program Coordinator, West

Brett Huffmaster
Business Service Manager

Matt Simons
Director of Technology

Tony Mlynarek
Development Director

Andy Makins
Director, Marketing

Meet The OQ Board of Directors

Pete Lawrie
Executive Director

Mr. Robert Curtis

Louis Stodieck PH.D.

Katherine Clark PH.D.

Steve Crumb

Cindy Hasselbring

Meet The OQ Advisory Board

Mr. Frank Owens

Col Jack Lousma USMC (Retired)

Col Jerry Ross USAF (Retired)

Col Guy Gardner USAF (Retired)