A 4,800 square-foot natural Earthwork by renowned crop artist Stan Herd will be created to commemorate World Space Week and International Day of the Girl to raise awareness about NASA’s Artemis Program and inspire women and girls through the high-profile STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) exhibit. The theme for World Space Week 2021 is “Women in Space.”

From October 11-22, an Earthwork portrait featuring active NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson will be displayed as an eco-friendly grass artwork in downtown Atlanta at Woodruff Park. Wilson’s 42 days in space and three trips to space are the most of any female African American astronaut. The intent of the Earthwork is to inspire women and girls, and especially people of color, to “aim higher” as they pursue their dreams.

As part of the Aim Higher project leading up to the Earthwork unveiling, there will be a daily World Space Week webinar series from October 4-8 hosted by the Georgia Space Grant Consortium followed by a free family friendly, outdoor hands on STEAM event titled Space Day Atlanta at the Georgia Tech Campus on Saturday October 9th.

The project was conceived by Christina Korp, President of Purpose Entertainment and the former manager of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. It’s being produced in partnership with Stan Herd Artworks, the Space for Art Foundation, Atlanta Parks and Rec Department, Downtown Atlanta, the Hines Family Foundation, Associated Universities Inc. (AUI), Georgia Tech, Morehouse College, and the Georgia Space Grant Consortium.

The Earthwork will be framed by approximately 1,500 tiles of space art created by students from fourteen Atlanta Public Schools and kids from three Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospitals. Satellite images of the Earthwork will be captured from low Earth orbit by Satellogic, a company specialized in Earth-observation satellites.

Former NASA astronauts Nicole Stott and Susan Kilrain (the second woman to pilot the Space Shuttle and a Georgia Tech alum), along with Inspiration 4 Mission Pilot astronaut Dr. Sian Proctor, will be on site in Woodruff Park to speak about the importance of representation to inspire more women and girls and people of color to pursue careers in space and tech fields. Stephanie Wilson will participate virtually with a video greeting from quarantine at the Kennedy Space Center, where she will be supporting as the backup crew for the next NASA International Space Station mission (Crew 3). NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy will also be participating with a video greeting.

“The opportunity to look at things from new perspectives opens us up to the awe and wonder that surrounds us every day, and has the power to inspire us to dream big,” says astronaut Nicole Stott. “For me personally, and on behalf of the Space for Art Foundation, we are excited to participate in the Aim Higher events in Atlanta for World Space Week & International Day of the Girl. The focal art piece Earthwork definitely opens up new perspectives. It will allow us to look back to Earth from above at the portrait of an inspirational Earthling and astronaut, to zoom into the frame of colorful tiles created by children in hospitals and schools who are sharing their dreams of space through their artwork, and to remind us to always look up and aim higher.”

“I’ve worked closely with astronauts for 13 years and I often get asked if there has ever been a Black astronaut,” says Christina Korp, the President of Purpose Entertainment. “My friend Larry Kellam, an Atlanta native asked if I could help make space cool for little Black kids because he sees the potential for them to pursue successful career pathways in space and tech. The best way that I know to inspire kids is by showing them what is possible. Stephanie Wilson is a real person and living proof that dreams can become a reality. No one has to settle. Everyone can aim higher for their own dreams.”

The Aim Higher program is possible because of sponsors who understand the importance of educating and inspiring students to reach for more. “AUI makes scientific breakthroughs possible, and a diverse STEM workforce is integral to this mission,” says Dr. Tim Spuck, Director of Education & Public Engagement. “Astronaut Stephanie Wilson is an exemplary figure and inspiration to young girls around the world. AUI is thrilled to partner in this event honoring a true American space hero.”

The Artemis Program is a United States-led international human spaceflight program with the primary goal of returning humans to the Moon in 2024. During the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. NASA will collaborate with our commercial and international partners and establish sustainable exploration for the first time. So far, eight countries along with the USA have signed the Artemis Accords, an international agreement between governments participating in the Artemis Program.

Learn more about Aim Higher at aimhigher.space.

Watch the “Aim Higher” video featuring NASA astronauts and women in space: https://youtu.be/M9p3N2s5j_E