The STEM Shuttle program began in June, 2006 with a visit to the Deke Slayton AirFest in La Crosse, WI. Back then, the vehicle was simply a "shuttle" named the Spirit of Education. On its sides were a likeness of a United States shuttle.
The creator of the Dream Flight USA Foundation, Sharon Ryan, realized back in 2006 that the day would come when the NASA Shuttle Program would end. And as promised, the excitement of the shuttle lift offs from Florida ended when the construction of the International Space Station was completed in 2011.
The following year, it was decided to make a dramatic change to the Dream Flight USA vehicle. Mrs Ryan, a 5th grade teacher and Chairwoman of the board, was committed to maintaining its shuttle program.
However, unlike the new and smaller manned space vehicles being planned by private contractors and NASA, the Dream Flight USA shuttle was going to maintain the capacity for a large crew.
Two pilots, three teachers, and 20 students would make up the crew of the new STEM Shuttle.
STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math