Coordinator, ND Space Grant Consortium
512 Clifford Hall
4149 University Avenue
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9008
Marissa Saad graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor's degree in Astronomy and two minors in Education and Latin. After receiving her Massachusetts High School Earth Science Teaching License, she continued onwards to graduate school where she earned her Master of Science degree in Space Studies at the University of North Dakota.
At UND, she worked as the science lead on the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) mission, collaborating with the University of North Florida on NASA’s zero-pressure balloon launch. Working with the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium, Marissa coordinated the annual Near Space Balloon Launch (NSBC), a state-wide payload competition that promotes middle and high school STEM. She continued to merge high altitude balloon launches with hands-on STEM education for her master’s thesis, integrating a ballooning mission into the 8th grade curriculum for a Grand Forks middle school.
After graduating, Marissa traveled back to Massachusetts and gained experience working as a 12th grade teacher, instructing Earth Science, Environmental Science, and Chemistry classes. Now, she is excited to return to North Dakota Space Grant to work on innovative projects and to inspire the next generation of students in STEM.