Welcome to the SSEP Community Network Hubsite

We believe that learners must see themselves in the stories we tell, and
experience scientific exploration through their own involvement.

We also believe that it takes a community to educate a child…
and a network of communities to reach a generation.


NEW FLIGHT OPPORTUNITY – Mission 11 to ISS (
Go to 3/30/16 Announcement)
Experiment Design Phase: Fall 2016; Flight to ISS: Spring 2017     Download: Press Release PDF
Download: 3-page Program Overview for Mission 11 (MS Word)
Watch Video Clips describing SSEP: Clip 1 (NASA), Clip 2 (NASA)   
Scientific American feature article on SSEP: February 17, 2015
Download: 2-page SSEP Overview used for Congressional Briefings (PDF)


Breaking News from the SSEP National Blog
Subscribe to the Blog to receive email notification of breaking SSEP News. Use the Subscribe Box at the bottom of the right column on the main SSEP website.

For all recent news, Jump to the SSEP National Blogor visit the full SSEP News Archive


Multimedia (click on toggles below)

ISS Current Location

The ISS Current Location tracker above was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA). ESA’s Columbus laboratory is a component of the ISS. Visit the ESA website for more information on the tracker.

HDEV Live View of Earth from ISS

If the image is black, ISS is on the night side of Earth. To check, use the ‘ISS Current Location’ above. Note: ISS orbits Earth in 90 minutes, with 45 minutes of daylight followed by 45 minutes of darkness.

This high definition video of your world is being telemetered to Earth LIVE from the International Space Station. To determine what portion of Earth is in view, use the ‘ISS Current Location’ toggle above. We invite you to get into the spirit of exploration on the frontiers of space – select an audio file below, expand the HDEV video window, and look down from 250 miles above Earth’s surface. Suggestions for other audio tracks are welcome:)

David Bowie’s Space Oddity, sung by Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield on ISS (watch his video)


Superman


Star Trek TNG

About HDEV, from NASA: The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment aboard the ISS was activated April 30, 2014. It is mounted on the External Payload Facility of the European Space Agency’s Columbus module. HDEV includes four fixed cameras positioned to capture imagery of the Earth’s surface and its limb as seen from the ISS – one camera pointing in the direction the station is moving, two cameras aft (wake), and one camera pointing straight down at Earth (nadir). While the experiment is operational, views will typically sequence though the different cameras. Between camera switches, a gray and then black color slate will briefly appear. To learn more about the HDEV experiment, visit this NASA webpage.

Twitter Feed with Images from Astronauts Currently Aboard ISS


Spot the Station: When Will ISS Fly Over Your Town?

You may not know this, but the International Space Station is the second brightest object in the night sky after the Moon, and has been flying over your head in plain sight (and likely unnoticed) for many years. NASA’s Spot the Station website has been allowing the general public to determine when Station will be flying overhead, and even allows you to sign up for email notification in advance of a Station over-flight of your community.

In late 2015, the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education suggested to NASA Headquarters that a Spot the Station widget, which could be easily embedded on any website, would be a wonderful way to extend ISS public awareness. The widget below was the result, and you’ll note that it is also found in the right column on all main pages of this SSEP website.

You are invited to use the widget to explore Station over-flights of your community, and even embed this widget on your website by clicking on the “About” button in the widget.

 


 

Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-133, Rolls Out to the Launch Pad, November 21, 2010 CLICK FOR ZOOM

On this SSEP Community Network Hubsite you can learn about the 134 communities across the U.S. and Canada that have been engaged in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), and the over 800 organizational partners at the local level thus far.

Note this Hubsite is a separate web environment from the SSEP Main Website which is where you’ll find a detailed overview of the SSEP, how to participate, and all the needed programmatic resources. This Hubsite is where we celebrate the communities—the tens of thousands of students, their teachers, and their families—engaged in this remarkable adventure on the high frontier.

All Hubsite pages are directly accessible from the navigation banner at the top of this page. Here you can read Community Profiles for each participating community and see the Local Partners that made their participation possible, explore the Experiments Selected for Flight, and see the student-designed Mission Patches that accompanied the experiments into orbit. At this Hubsite you can also explore the In Our Own Words page if you’d like to hear from participating students, teachers, and district administrators, and can read the SSEP in the News page for extensive media coverage of the program. You can also watch oral presentations by student researcher teams at the SSEP National Conference on the Scientific Return and Reporting pages. Finally, follow all SSEP program activities at the SSEP National Blog (you can subscribe to the Blog at the bottom of the right column on the SSEP Main Website.)

Think of this Hubsite as the Grand Central Station for all the students, teachers, families, and communities engaged in SSEP—a program that was designed to be a keystone initiative for U.S. National STEM education, and to inspire America’s next generation of scientists and engineers.


A Quick Program Overview

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) was launched in June 2010 by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education in strategic partnership with NanoRacks, LLC. It is a remarkable U.S. national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education initiative that gives typically 300+ students across a community – upper elementary, middle, or high school students (grades 5-12), or undergraduates at 2-year or 4-year colleges and universities (grades 13-16) – the ability to design and propose real microgravity experiments to fly in low Earth orbit, first aboard the final flights of the Space Shuttle, and then on the International Space Station (ISS)—America’s newest national laboratory. 

In 2012, SSEP was extended to international communities through the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, NCESSE’s new international arm.

SSEP is about immersing and engaging students and their teachers in real science—on the high frontier—so that students are given the chance to be scientists—and be inspired. More broadly, SSEP is about a commitment to student ownership in exploration, to science as journey, and to the joys of learning.

Each community participating in SSEP conducts a local Flight Experiment Design Competition, with their student teams competing to fly an experiment in low Earth orbit in a real research mini-laboratory reserved just for their community. The competition is conducted through formal submission of real research proposals by the community’s student teams—just like professional researchers. Students can design experiments in diverse fields, including: seed germination, crystal growth, physiology and life cycles of microorganisms (e.g. bacteria), cell biology and growth, food studies, and studies of micro-aquatic life. A curriculum, and other content resources for teachers and students, supports foundational instruction on science in microgravity and experiment design.

A suite of SSEP program elements—the Community Program—leverages the flight experiment design competition to engage the entire community, embracing a Learning Community Model for STEM education. One element is a Mission Patch design competition allowing hundreds of students across the community (down to grade K) to capture through art and design their community’s SSEP experience. Up to two Mission Patches accompany the community’s selected flight experiment to low Earth orbit.

An annual SSEP National Conference held at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, immerses delegations of students in a real research conference where they formally present to their peers on experiment design and science results (explore the 2015 Conference page, and video clips of presentations archived on the Scientific Return and Reporting pages, see e.g.Mission 6 to ISS Scientific Return and Reporting).


Flight Opportunities to Date

Since program inception in June 2010, there have been twelve SSEP flight opportunities—SSEP on STS-134 and STS-135, which were the final flights of Space Shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis; and SSEP Missions 1 through 10 to ISS. A total of 134 communities have participated in the program, reflecting 36 States and the District of Columbia in the U. S. and 4 Provinces in Canada. Thus far 28 communities have participated in multiple flight opportunities – one community is conducting their 7th flight with Mission 9 – reflecting the sustainable nature of the program.

Through the first eleven flight opportunities, a total of 61,150 grade 5-16 students across 780 schools were fully immersed in microgravity experiment design and proposal writing, 13,617 flight experiment proposals were received from student teams, and 174 experiments were selected for flight. A total of 113 experiments have flown through SSEP Mission 6. Another 61 experiments are expected to launch in 2016: 25 experiments as the Mission 7 Odyssey II payload on SpaceX-8, 15 experiments as the Mission 8 Kitty Hawk payload on SpaceX-9, and 21 experiments as the Endeavor payload on SpaceX-10 – all three launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, adjoining Kennedy Space Center. Over 100,000 more students across the entire grade preK-16 pipeline were engaged in their communities’ broader STEAM experience, submitting 57,847 Mission Patch designs.

For more information on SSEP Missions to date, explore the Flight Opportunities to Date page, which provides launch and landing dates, and information on the ferry spacecraft, astronaut crews aboard ISS during experiment operation, and the SSEP flight experiment payloads.


March 30, 2016: NEW Flight Opportunity Announced

SSEP Mission 11 to ISS
The thirteenth SSEP flight announcement of opportunity—for Mission 11 to ISS—provides for an experiment design competition Fall 2016, and a ferry flight to ISS in Spring 2017. Mission 11 to ISS is open to school districts and schools across the U.S. (grades 5-12); 2-year community colleges and 4-year colleges across the U.S.; communities in the U.S. led by informal education or
 out-of-school organizations; and international communities in European Space Agency (ESA) member nations, European Union (EU) member nations, Canada, and Japan, through the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education—the new international arm of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education.

Intrigued? Read the Mission 11 to ISS Announcement of Opportunity, and visit the SSEP Main Website for full program details, or Contact Us.


National and Local Partners

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, and NanoRacks, the Strategic Partners on SSEP, are proud to be working with the following SSEP National Partners – in the U.S., the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and Subaru of America, Inc. and in Canada, Magellan Aerospace. To read more about these partnerships, visit the National Partners page at the main SSEP Website.

Partnership is truly a hallmark of SSEP. Over 800 organizations have supported SSEP at the local level since program inception, including: school districts, private schools, NASA Space Grant lead institutions and other universities, corporate foundations, businesses, community foundations, and local research institutions. These organizations are designated the SSEP Local Partners. To explore the Local Partners, visit the Communities & Local Partners page.


The Community Network – Communities Participating in SSEP Since Program Inception in June 2010

The map provides the location of the 134 communities that have participated in the 12 SSEP flight opportunities to date (through Mission 10 to ISS), and which comprise the SSEP Community Network. Thus far, 28 of these communities have participated in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 flight opportunities.


A Community that has taken part in one SSEP Flight Opportunity to date: Yellow
A Community that has taken part in more than one SSEP Flight Opportunity to date: Green
View the SSEP Communities on a larger map
*The ‘Teachers in Space’ geographically distributed community (participating in Missions 3 and 5) is not shown on the map.

Open to See a List of Participating Communities for Each SSEP Flight Opportunity to Date

The lists below provide links to the Community Profiles for each community, and links to all active SSEP Community Blogs that are created and operated by the communities, where teachers and students report on their local SSEP program activities.

Communities listed in Green below have participated in more than one SSEP Flight Opportunity.

STS-134 Participating Communities

1. Shelton, Connecticut Profile
2. Broward County, Florida Profile
3. Orange County, Florida Profile
4. Lincolnwood, Illinois Profile
5. Jefferson County, Kentucky (1) Profile
6. Zachary, Louisiana Profile
7. Saint Mary’s County, Maryland Profile
8. Harry A. Burke High School, Omaha, Nebraska Profile
9. Omaha North High Magnet School, Omaha, Nebraska Profile
10. Central Consolidated School District, New Mexico Profile
11. Ballston Spa, New York Profile
12. Guilford County, North Carolina (1) Profile
13. Portland, Oregon Profile
14. El Paso, Texas (1) Profile
15. Canyons School District, Utah Profile
16. Seattle, Washington Profile

 

STS-135 Participating Communities

1. Peoria, Arizona Profile
2. Hartford, Connecticut (1) Profile
3. Chicago, Illinois (1) Profile
4. Crown Point, Indiana (1) Profile
5. Galva-Holstein (Ida County), Iowa (1) Profile
6. Charles County, Maryland (1) Profile
7. Fitchburg, Massachusetts (1) Profile
8. Potter and Dix, Nebraska Profile
9. Lincoln, Nebraska Profile
10. Bridgewater-Raritan, New Jersey Profile
11. Inwood, New York Profile

 

Mission 1 to ISS Participating Communities

1. San Marino, California (1) Profile
2. West Hills, California Profile
3. Hartford, Connecticut (2) Profile
4. Washington, DC – Capitol Hill Cluster of Schools (1) Profile
5. Lake County (includes Crown Point), Indiana (2) Profile
6. Ida County, Iowa (2) Profile
7. Charles County, Maryland (2) Profile
8. Fitchburg, Massachusetts (2) Profile
9. Pleasanton and Norris, Nebraska (1) Profile
10. Cincinnati, Ohio Profile
11. Houston, Texas (1) Profile
12. El Paso, Texas (2) Profile

 

Mission 2 to ISS Participating Communities

1. Santa Monica, California (1) Profile
2. East Lyme, Connecticut (1) Profile
3. Chicago, Illinois (2) Profile
4. Cicero, Illinois Profile
5. Fitchburg, Massachusetts (3) Profile
6. Pennsauken, NJ (1) Profile
7. Guilford County, North Carolina (2) Profile
8. Houston, Texas (2) Profile
9. Presidio, Texas Profile
10. Russell County, Virginia Profile
11. Shoreline, Washington Profile

 

Mission 3 to ISS Participating Communities

1. Teachers in Space, Space Frontier Foundation (1) Profile
2. Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada Profile
3. San Marino, California (2) Profile
4. Washington, DC – Capitol Hill Cluster of Schools (2) Profile
5. Hilo/Waiakea, Hawai’i Profile
6. Valley Center, Kansas Profile
7. Howard County, Maryland (1) Profile
8. Fitchburg, Massachusetts (4) Profile
9. Traverse City, Michigan (1) Profile
10. Pleasanton and Callaway, Nebraska (2) Profile
11. Alpine, New Jersey Profile
12. Pennsauken, New Jersey (2) Profile
13. New York City, New York – NEST+m (1) Profile
14. Guilford County, North Carolina (3) Profile
15. Salem, Oregon Profile
16. Willis, Texas Profile
17. Wise County, Virginia Profile

 

Mission 4 to ISS Participating Communities

1. Highlands Ranch, Colorado Profile
2. Indiana State Science Consortium (incl. Crown Pt), IN (3) Profile
3. Huron County, Michigan Profile
4. Warren, Michigan Profile
5. New York City, New York – Children’s First Network Profile
6. Rochester, New York Profile
7. Downingtown, Pennsylvania Profile
8. Jamestown, Pennsylvania Profile
9. North Charleston, South Carolina (1) Profile
10. Hayes County, Texas Profile
11. Pharr, Texas (1) Profile

 

Mission 5 to ISS Participating Communities

1. Teachers in Space Inc. and Space Frontier Foundation (2) Profile
2. Flagstaff, Arizona Profile
3. Santa Rosa, California Profile
4. Washington, DC – Cesar Chavez Charter School Cluster Profile
5. Hillsborough County, Florida (1) Profile
6. Jefferson County, Kentucky (2) Profile
7. Howard County, Maryland (2) Profile
8. Fitchburg, Massachusetts (5) Profile
9. North Attleborough, Massachusetts Profile
10. Kansas City, Missouri (1) Profile
11. Brookhaven, Mississippi (1) Profile
12. Pennsauken, New Jersey (3) Profile
13. New York City, New York – NEST+m (2) Profile
14. Rockland County, New York Profile
15. Guilford, County, North Carolina (4) Profile

 

Mission 6 to ISS Participating Communities

1. Kamloops/Thompson, British Columbia, Canada Profile
2. Oakland, California Profile
3. San Marino, California (3) Profile
4. Washington, DC – DC Space Grant University Community Profile
5. Plaquemine, Louisiana Profile
6. Kalamazoo, Michigan Profile
7. Madison Heights, Michigan Profile
8. Kansas City, Missouri (2) Profile
9. Berkeley Heights, New Jersey Profile
10. Long Branch, New Jersey Profile
11. Ocean City, New Jersey Profile
12. Flushing, New York Profile
13. Colleton County, South Carolina Profile
14. North Charleston, South Carolina (2) Profile
15. Knox County, Tennessee (1) Profile
16. Somerville, Tennessee Profile
17. Rockwall County, Texas Profile
18. San Antonio, Texas (1) Profile

 

Mission 7 to ISS Participating Communities

1. La Verne, California Profile
2. Petaluma, California Profile
3. Santa Monica, California (2) Profile
4. Littleton, Colorado Profile
5. Hartford, Connecticut (3) Profile
6. Bear, Delaware Profile
7. Camden, Delaware Profile
8. Hillsborough County, Florida (2) Profile
9. Sioux City, Iowa Profile  
10. Fitchburg, Massachusetts (6) Profile
11. Duluth, Minnesota Profile
12. Brookhaven, Mississippi (2) Profile
13. Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas (3) Profile
14. Johnson County, Nebraska Profile
15. Pennsauken, New Jersey (4) Profile
16. Somerset, New Jersey Profile
17. West Fargo, North Dakota Profile
18. Grant County, Oregon Profile
19. Erie, Pennsylvania Profile
20. Knox County, Tennessee (2) Profile
21. Austin, Texas Profile
22. Burleson, Texas (1) Profile
23. Pharr, Texas (2) Profile
24. San Antonio, Texas (2) Profile

 

Mission 8 to ISS Participating Communities

1. Calgary, Alberta, Canada  – Bishop Carroll HS Profile
2. Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Ryerson University Profile
3. Toronto, Ontario, Canada – University of Toronto Schools Profile
4. Santa Ana, California Profile
5. Vista, California Profile
6. Dover, Delaware – Delaware State University Profile
7. Boise, Idaho Profile
8. Montgomery County, Maryland Profile
9. Prince George’s County, Maryland Profile
10. Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas (4) Profile
11. Elizabeth, New Jersey Profile
12. New York City, New York – Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Profile
13. New York City, New York – NEST+m (3) Profile
14. Suffolk County, New York Profile

 

Mission 9 to ISS Participating Communities

1. Calgary, Alberta, Canada – Langevin School Profile
2. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Profile
3. Santa Monica, California (3) Profile
4. East Lyme, CT (2) Profile
5. Hillsborough County, Florida (3) Profile
6. Boise, Idaho Profile
7. Potomac, MD Profile
8. Fitchburg, Massachusetts (7) Profile
9. Traverse City, Michigan (2) Profile
10. Jersey City, New Jersey Profile
11. Springfield, New Jersey Profile
12. Buffalo – Niagara Falls, New York Profile
13. Eugene, Oregon Profile
14. Columbia, South Carolina Profile
15. North Charleston, South Carolina (3) Profile
16. Knox County, Tennessee (3) Profile
17. Bullard, Texas Profile
18. Burleson, Texas (2) Profile
19. Houston, Texas – Cesar Chavez HS Profile
20. McAllen, Texas Profile
21. Bellevue, Washington Profile

 

Mission 10 to ISS Participating Communities

1. Camden, Arkansas Profile
2. Elk Grove, California Profile
3. iLEAD Consortium, California Profile
4. Lennox, California Profile
5. Middletown, Delaware Profile
6. Lansing, Kansas Profile
7. University System of Maryland (USM), Maryland Profile
8. Clark County, Nevada Profile
9. Summit, New Jersey Profile
10. Houston, Texas Profile
11. San Antonio, Texas Profile

 


SSEP is undertaken by 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 NanoRacks LLC, working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.

All content on this website is Copyright 2016, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE). Any use of this content without the permission of NCESSE is prohibited.

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 NanoRacks LLC, 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.