The Mars Generation, a non-profit founded in 2015 by then 18-year-old Abigail Harrison (aka Astronaut Abby), has quickly grown to become a global leader in exciting the next generation, especially girls and young women, about STEAM education and space exploration. In doing this critical work, the organization also recognizes young people making an impact and effecting change in the world through science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics, and/or space with its 24 Under 24: Leaders and Innovators in STEAM and Space Awards. Applications for the 2019 awards program are now being accepted, so now’s your chance to nominate a student who’s poised to shape our future for the better.

The Mars Generation hosted its inaugural 24 Under 24 Awards this year, honoring young leaders and innovators – from artists to scientists, and entrepreneurs to engineers – who “embrace elements of STEAM and/or space, but also participate in other activities such as athletics, political interests/lobbying, or with humanitarian or other charitable organizations.” We were particularly excited to learn that seventeen of the twenty-four 2018 winners are girls. Of her nonprofit’s second annual awards, Astronaut Abby, an internationally recognized STEAM education and space ambassador, told us, “We hope for lots of talented girls again this year.”

Applications for the 2019 awards program are open now through November 1, 2018. Students under the age of 24 from anywhere in the world can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone who knows them, preferably a non-relative. Nominees must be involved in some project or work related to STEAM and/or space, which includes but is not limited to “outreach work to excite other students, publishing papers, public speaking, research, participating in competitions, developing new inventions, and innovation efforts that underscore leadership in STEAM and/or space exploration.”

The selection committee charged with reviewing nominee applications includes a panel of education, STEAM and space experts. 2019 winners will be selected “based on blind rubric scoring of nominations” and announced in Spring of next year.

Astronaut Abby Mars Generation

The driving force behind the 24 Under 24: Leaders and Innovators in STEAM and Space Awards, and every piece of exciting programming that comes out of The Mars Generation is Abby, a now 21-year-old Wellesley College senior, studying Astrobiology and Russian. As a 5-year-old she dreamed of being an astronaut, and has since devoted her life and studies to making that a reality by working hard, acting big, and inspiring others. With all Abby continues to accomplish as a founder, student, and role model, she puts herself one step closer to her ultimate goal of being the first person to land on Mars.

But Abby’s mission is not self-serving. It is a tremendously selfless effort founded on building a stronger tomorrow by energizing her generation today about space and STEAM, and educating them about the importance of deep space exploration to humankind. “Ever since we first began exploring space, every generation has had a craft to transport their dreams into space. We have seen the Apollo Era, the Shuttle Era, and now we are ready to see the Orion Era,” Abby shared. “My generation, the Mars Generation, will make it happen.”

Images courtesy of The Mars Generation. Lead image features Mylena Peixoto, age 17, Brazil – 2018 24 Under 24 Leaders and Innovators in STEAM and Space Awards Recipient


The Mars Generation is now accepting nominations for its 24 under 24 Leaders and Innovators in STEAM and Space 2019 Awards. Click here to nominate a student today. Nomination deadline is November 1, 2018.