SSEP Mission 13 to the International Space Station Has Begun: Welcome Aboard to 21,300 Participating Students Across 38 Communities in the U.S., Canada and Brazil

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The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), and its international arm, the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, are honored to announce the start of program operations for Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 13 to the International Space Station (ISS) – the 15th SSEP flight opportunity since program inception in 2010. Mission 13 to ISS officially began on September 4, 2018, and we are proud to welcome aboard the 38 communities listed below. Mission 13 represents a significant expansion of SSEP, breaking the record to date of 31 communities on a single mission for Mission 12.

Each participating community submitted a formal Implementation Plan for review and approval, which demonstrated how SSEP would address their community’s strategic needs in STEM education, and detailed a real world plan for how a Local Team of educators would engage typically hundreds of students in real microgravity experiment design and proposal writing. Based on the Implementation Plans, the 38 Mission 13 communities combined will engage 21,300 grade 5-16 students in experiment design, and expect over 3,500 flight experiment proposals to be received from student teams. A 2-step formal proposal review process, culminating with the SSEP National Step 2 Review Board meeting in November 2018 at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, will select one flight experiment for each of 36 communities. Two other communities are flying 1 and 2 additional experiments, for a total of 41 Mission 13 flight experiments.

Of special note–

  • 25 of the 38 Mission 13 communities are returning: Mission 13 is the ninth SSEP Mission for Fitchburg, Massachusetts; the sixth mission for both Hillsborough County, Florida, and Knox County, Tennessee; the fifth mission for Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas, Burleson, Texas, and Pharr, Texas; the fourth mission for the University System of Maryland, and Springfield, New Jersey; and the third mission for Traverse City, Michigan, Galloway, New Jersey, and WNY STEM, in Buffalo/Niagara, New York. Mission 13 is also the second flight for 14 other communities.
  • three of the Mission 13 communities are undergraduate efforts: i) the University System of Maryland; ii) Stockton University, Galloway, New Jersey;  and iii) the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • two Mission 13 communities are in Canada: Edmonton, Alberta; and Qualicum, British Columbia.
  • one Mission 13 community is in Brazil; The Brazilian Foundation for Support of Physics and Chemistry, based in Sao Paulo, is serving as a national hub to engage multiple communities across Brazil. This Mission 13 effort in Brazil is a testbed for a national model, which could be replicated via future SSEP missions across Latin America.

The 41 flight experiments for Mission 13 to ISS will be selected by December 14, 2018, with a projected launch as the SSEP Gemini payload of experiments (named in honor of NASA’s Project Gemini) in late Spring / early Summer 2019.

Community participation in Mission 13 to ISS has been made possible through NCESSE strategic partnerships with DreamUp PBC , NanoRacks LLC, and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), as well as our National Partners, the Smithsonian National Air and Space MuseumSubaru of America, Inc., and Magellan Aerospace. Funding for many of the participating communities was also provided by Local Partners – businesses, foundations, and individuals – which provided funding directly to participating schools in their area. The SSEP Mission 13 Community Profiles and Local Partners page is a place on the SSEP website where we provide a profile of each participating community, and we acknowledge the remarkable support provided by all National and Local Partners. We invite you to explore that page to read about your community, and assess if there are any partners that need to be added. To add partners, please contact SSEP Flight Operations Manager John Hamel, email:  johnhamel@ncesse.org.

 

Program Overview and Heritage to Date

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is designed as a national model for STEM education, and immerses hundreds of students across a participating community in an authentic real world, trans-disciplinary research experience as part of America’s Space Program. This is not a simulation – we are truly inviting each community into America’s Space Program. We are inviting all participating students to take on the role of real microgravity researchers – formally designing microgravity experiments against real world engineering and technology constraints, writing real proposals against a proposal guide, and going through a real proposal review competition. SSEP was created in the very best spirit of allowing our students to see firsthand what is expected of professional scientists and engineers on the frontiers of human exploration.

Each participating SSEP community is provided a flight certified, microgravity research mini-laboratory and launch services to transport the mini-lab containing one student team designed microgravity experiment to the International Space Station in Low Earth Orbit, where an astronaut will operate the experiment. Each community has a Local Team of educators that first delivers an established microgravity curriculum to hundreds of students, and the students then form formal research teams of 3-5 students per team. Each of the resulting 50-100 teams vie for the single experiment slot provided to their community through formal experiment design and proposal writing, mirroring how professional researchers secure limited research assets through a formal call for proposals. Review of all proposals culminates with the SSEP National Step 2 Review Board selecting the flight experiment for each participating community.

Heritage: Since program inception in 2010, 86,800 students in 165 communities across the U.S., Canada, and Brazil have been immersed in real research, designing microgravity experiments to fly to ISS. Over 18,750 formal research proposals have been submitted by student teams. To date, 240 experiments have flown to ISS and returned to Earth for harvesting and analysis by their student flight teams. Over 100,000 more students across the entire grade preK-16 pipeline were engaged in their communities’ broader STEAM experience, submitting 99,472 Mission Patch designs. Each year, communities send delegations to the SSEP National Conference at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, in Washington, DC, where student flight teams report on experiment design and science results.

To get into the spirit of SEP Mission 13 to ISS, the video below is the NASA live coverage of the launch of SpaceX CRS-15 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:41 am ET June 29, 2018. The SpaceX CRS-15 Dragon spacecraft carried the 34 SSEP Mission 12 experiments to ISS. The Mission 12 experiments were conducted by the astronauts for a month on orbit, with Dragon returning to Earth, and splashing down in the Pacific off the California coast, on August 23, 2018,  a little over 1 month ago.

 

 

Mission 13 Communities – Welcome Aboard!

1. Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Brazilian Foundation for Support of Physics and Chemistry
Garatea Mission

2. Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
Edmonton Public School Board

3. Qualicum, British Columbia, CANADA
School District 69

4. Winfield City, AL
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Winfield City School System
Winfield Middle School
Winfield City High School

5. Corcoran, CA
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Corcoran Unified School District
John Muir Middle School

6. La Verne, CA
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Damien High School

7. Moreno Valley, CA
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Moreno Valley Unified School District

8. North Hollywood, CA
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Oakwood School

9. Riverside, CA
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Riverside Unified School District

10. Ashford/Willington, CT
Ashford School District
Willington School District

11. Hillsborough County, FL
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Hillsborough County Public Schools

12. Port St. Lucie, FL
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Renaissance Charter School at Tradition

13. Berea, KY
Berea Independent School District
Berea College

14. Anne Arundel County, MD
Anne Arundel County Public Schools

15. Montgomery County, MD
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Montgomery County Public Schools
Parkland Magnet Middle School for Aerospace Technology

16. University System of Maryland (USM), MD
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
University of Maryland College Park

17. Fitchburg, MA
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School

18. Redford, MI
Hilbert Middle School
Redford Union School District

19. Traverse City, MI
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Traverse City Area Public Schools
Traverse City West Senior High School

20. Kansas City, MO/KS
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
aSTEAM Village

21. Clark County, NV
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Clark County School District
Doris French Elementary School

22. Galloway, NJ – Stockton University
Stockton University

23. Ocean City, NJ
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Ocean City Public School System

24. Springfield, NJ
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Springfield Public Schools

25. Jefferson County, NY
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County
4-H Afterschool and Traditional Club Programs

26. Suffolk County, NJ
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
South Huntington School District

27. WNY STEM – Buffalo/Niagara, NY
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
The WNY STEM Hub

28. Hunter, ND
Northern Cass Public School

29. Hershey, PA
Milton Hershey School

30. Pittsbugh, PA – University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy

31. Knox County, TN
Knox County Public School System

32. Burleson, TX
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Burleson Independent School District

33. Ector County, TX
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Ector County Independent School District

34. Klein, TX
Klein Independent School District

35. Marfa, TX
Marfa Independent School District

36. Pharr, TX
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Thomas Jefferson T-STEM Early College High School
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District

37. Raleigh County, WV
Raleigh County Schools
Shady Spring High School

38. iForward-Grantsburg, WI
(SSEP RETURNING COMMUNITY)
Grantsburg School District

 

To all the teachers, thousands of students, and stakeholder organizations across the 38 Mission 13 communities – welcome aboard.

SSEP – real spaceflight all the time

 


The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space MuseumCenter for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and Subaru of America, Inc., are U.S. National Partners on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Magellan Aerospace is a Canadian National Partner on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

One Response to SSEP Mission 13 to the International Space Station Has Begun: Welcome Aboard to 21,300 Participating Students Across 38 Communities in the U.S., Canada and Brazil

  1. Anonymous September 17, 2018 at 4:43 pm #

    I am so excited to watch this unfold! Congratulations to all!

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The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.