Community Profiles and Local Partners: SSEP Mission 5 to ISS

 


Mission 5 is Community’s First SSEP Flight Opportunity: Yellow
Mission 5 is Community’s at Least Second SSEP Flight Opportunity: Green
View SSEP Mission 5 to ISS Communities on a larger map


SSEP Mission 5 to ISS

Experiment Design Competition and Selection of Flight Experiments: Fall 2013
Flight to ISS: launched July 13, 2014, on Orbital Sciences 2 (Orb-2; Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft); returned to Earth October 25, 2014, on SpaceX-4 Dragon spacecraft (see Flight Profile page)

 

The 15 communities profiled below are providing the opportunity for 16,400 grade 5-12 students to design and propose real microgravity experiments for flight aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as part of SSEP Mission 5 to ISS – the seventh SSEP flight opportunity. Seven of the Mission 5 communities participated in at least one of the six earlier SSEP flight opportunities. Of special note – Mission 5 to ISS is the fifth flight opportunity for Fitchburg, MA, the fourth for Guilford County, NC, and the third for Pennsauken, NJ.

Each community conducts a local Flight Experiment Design Competition with student teams designing microgravity experiments across multiple disciplines. Each team submits a formal research proposal, vying for an experiment slot reserved just for their community in a real research mini-laboratory scheduled to fly on the International Space Station. The Mission 5 to ISS community leadership project that across the network of 15 communities a minimum of 6,980 students will be fully engaged in experiment design, and a minimum of 1,286 flight experiment proposals from student teams will be received.

A total of 34,600 grade preK-12 students are being given the opportunity to participate in SSEP Mission 5 to ISS community-wide programming, which includes the design of Mission Patches to fly aboard ISS. Through community engagement activities, together with microgravity experiment design, a total of 96 schools in 11 States and the District of Columbia are taking part in Mission 5 to ISS.

For 9 of the 15 communities, Mission 5 is made possible in part by a grant from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education. CASIS is a National Partner on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Subaru of America, also a National Partner on SSEP, provided partial support for Pennsauken, NJ.

More generally, Mission 5 to ISS is made possible through the involvement of 89 Local Partner institutions, including school districts, corporate foundations, universities, community foundations, and companies, and which are providing both underwriting and material and human resources. This includes support from 8 NASA Space Grant Consortia at lead universities, including: California Space Grant Consortium at University of California, San Diego; NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium at University of Central Florida; NASA Kentucky Space Grant and EPSCoR Program at University of Kentucky; Maryland Space Grant Consortium at Johns Hopkins University; Massachusetts Space Grant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Mississippi Space Grant Consortium at University of Mississippi; New York Space Grant Consortium at Cornell University; and North Carolina Space Grant Consortium at North Carolina State University.

The level of partnership is remarkable, and speaks to what a team of partners at the local, state, and national levels can do together in STEM education.

Visit the SSEP In the News page and the In Our Own Words page to gain an understanding of program impact over the prior SSEP flight opportunities.

 

1. Teachers in Space Inc. (TiS) and Space Frontier Foundation

Noteworthy: this is the first nationally distributed SSEP community and their second SSEP flight

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 1,840 grade 7-12 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 600
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 50

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 1,840 grade 7-12 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 16; experiment design and mission patches: Granite Hills High School, Apple Valley, CA; West Genesee High School, Camillus, NY; St. John’s Military School, Salina, KS; Milton L. Olive Middle School, Wyandanch, NY; Wyandanch High School, Wyandanch, NY; Trinity Catholic Junior/Senior High School, Hutchinson, KS; Adams School, San Diego, CA; Flushing High School, Flushing, NY; Metro High School, Fort Worth, TX; Norco High School, Norco, CA; Walter G. O’Connell, Copiague, NY; Corsicana High School, Corsicana, TX; Baton Rouge Magnet School, Baton Rouge, LA; Roosevelt High School, Los Angeles, CA; Gloversville High School, Gloversville, NY; Loudoun County Academy of Science, Sterling, VA

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan announced the formation of the Teachers in Space program. In its original format, teachers would undergo a five-month training period that would qualify them to be a spaceflight participant. After the flight, the teacher was to return to the classroom to inspire future generations of students. This program ended with the Challenger accident.

In 2004, Teachers in Space, a project led by the Space Frontier Foundation, was begun to stimulate student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging and fostering the passion of their teachers for the emerging generation of space development, often referred to as NewSpace. The project includes actual sub-orbital spaceflight for some teachers, as well as other extraordinary space-related experiences, and unique teaching materials for others. The end goal of Teachers in Space is to generate a transfer of this passion for space from teachers to their students, in a way that dramatizes the new reality of space, and through their study of STEM, as one vision for their futures. The SSEP program will help excite teachers and students by giving them the opportunity to design an experiment that will launch into space and go onboard the International Space Station. The students will be doing real scientific research.

Our goals for participation in SSEP are as follows:

1) Educators to apply knowledge and skills gained from the Suborbital Flight Experiment Workshop in the classroom through the implementation of the SSEP program
2) Build student excitement and interest in STEM fields
3) Give students opportunity to do authentic scientific research
4) Improve the quality of scientific writing
5) Reach out to a national audience by successfully running a SSEP competition as a single SSEP nationally distributed community

Partner Institutions
Space Frontier Foundation

Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), SSEP National Partner
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

Mission 3 to ISS
(see Mission 3 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patches)

SSEP Community Program Co-Directors
Amy McCormick
Science Teacher, West Shore Junior/Senior High School
jaegerdoggy@hotmail.com

Liz Kennick
Program Director, Teachers in Space
liz@escapeguesthouse.com

 

2. Flagstaff, Arizona

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 600 grade 6-12 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 600
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 90

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 600 grade 6-12 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 1; experiment design and mission patches: Northland Preparatory Academy

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
Flagstaff, Arizona is the first STEM City in America (http://www.flagstaffstemcity.com), and the mission of the Flagstaff STEM consortium is to “support and enhance opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math to ensure excellence and economic success for our region.” The consortium intends this concept to be an adoptable model for communities striving for broad-based, grass-roots leveraging of their STEM assets to expand and improve opportunities for their students. We want our students to receive high quality STEM education in our schools, obtain STEM-related degrees, and be successful wherever their careers take them. Local, state and national competitiveness in the 21st century depends critically on preparing our students to be leaders in a technical world, and the many for-profit, non-profit, and formal education institutions in Flagstaff have collectively undertaken to set an example for achieving this.

Northland Preparatory Academy (NPA) supports this mission by providing outstanding opportunities like the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), in order to inspire our future scientists and engineers. SSEP has brought real world application of the scientific process to hundreds of NPA students in the classroom, in conjunction with the expectations of the newly released Next Generation Science Standards. Opportunities like SSEP excite our students and maintain their passion to pursue science and math throughout their academic careers. Collaborating in teams, conducting research, and communicating to the community are skills equally important in the classroom and in the real world. We hope that as adults, our students bring these skills back to the organizations that inspired them, and pay their abilities forward by continued contributions to our large and thriving STEM community.

Partner Institutions
Northland Preparatory Academy
Lowell Observatory

Flagstaff Forty
WL Gore & Associates
Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

SSEP Community Program Co-Directors
Kaci Heins
6th Grade Science, Northland Preparatory Academy
KHeins@northlandprep.org

Jeff Hall
Director, Lowell Observatory
jch@lowell.edu

 

3. Santa Rosa, California

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 400 grade 5-12 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 400
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 80

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 700 grade K-12 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 3; experiment design and mission patches: John B. Riebli Elementary Charter School, Mark West Charter School, Piner High School

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
The mission of John B. Riebli Elementary Charter School and Mark West Charter School along with many community partners is to provide a national model for a true STEM education program that embraces student ownership in developing broad interdisciplinary connections, an authentic view of science that has the ability to change perceptions about the nature of science for students and the public, and the nature of science education for teachers.

Through SSEP we hope the excitement of real science on the high frontier to engage our local community of students, teachers and families will ignite the larger community in our state and beyond. Through SSEP, over 400 students in grades 5-12 along with college mentors will step into the role of real-life researchers. It’s a unique opportunity to engage students in the process of scientific inquiry, and spark their interests in careers across all science and technology disciplines.

Partner Institutions
John B. Riebli School
Mark West Charter School
Mark West Union School District

JDSU
California Space Grant Consortium
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), SSEP National Partner
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
Fred Milligen: collected a number of individual donations
John B. Riebli Charter School PTA
TiNi Aerospace
Adobe Associates, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Jasko
Joe Zils
Fran Hansell – Riebli School
Pam Carpenter – MWCS
Susan Gonyo – Riebli School

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

SSEP Community Program Co-Directors
Fran Hansell
Principal, John B. Riebli School
fhansell@mwusd.org

Pam Carpenter
Director, Mark West Charter School
pcarpenter@mwcharter.org

 

4. Washington, DC – Cesar Chavez Charter School Cluster

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 500 grade 9-10 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 300
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 60

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 542 grade 9-12 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 4; experiment design and mission patches: Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy—Chavez Prep Middle School, Capitol Hill High School, and Parkside High School campuses; mission patches only: Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy—Parkside Middle School campus

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
The curriculum at Chavez is centered on critical thinking. We foster scholars’ use of our democratic ideals to envision, evaluate, and change the world. The curriculum is designed to systematically develop scholars’ conceptual understanding and literacy so that scholars have the keys necessary to unlock novel problems and create innovative solutions.

In the past year, Chavez Schools has aligned our curriculum with the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that are built around three major dimensions: scientific and engineering practices, universal scientific cross-cutting concepts, and core ideas in the disciplinary areas. As the NGSS committee states:
“The actual doing of science or engineering can also pique students’ curiosity, capture their interest, and motivate their continued study; the insights thus gained help them recognize that the work of scientists and engineers is a creative endeavor—one that has deeply affected the world they live in. Students may then recognize that science and engineering can contribute to meeting many of the major challenges that confront society today…Any education that focuses predominantly on the detailed products of scientific labor—the facts of science—without developing an understanding of how those facts were established or that ignores the many important applications of science in the world misrepresents science and marginalizes the importance of engineering” (A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Cross-Cutting Concepts, and Core Ideas, pg. 43).

SSEP tightly aligns with the STEM education emphasis at Chavez, through the NGSS framework, by immersing students in real scientific and engineering problems that can be solved through the application of content knowledge and the practices of science and engineering. Students will have the opportunity to ask scientific questions, develop models, plan and carry out investigations, analyze and interpret data, use mathematical and computational thinking, construct explanations, obtain, evaluate, and communicate information, and collaborate in teams like practicing scientists in a genuine scientific context. Essentially, SSEP will support us in achieving all of our goals of STEM education and allow it to happen in an authentic, exciting framework.

Partner Institutions
Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools For Public Policy

Washington Space Business Roundtable
Noblis
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), SSEP National Partner
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Pepco
ATK
Tiger Woods Foundation
Society of Satellite Professionals International
ADNET Systems, Inc.

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

SSEP Community Program Co-Directors
Molly Lauer
Science Instructional Lead Teacher
molly.lauer@chavezschools.org

Dave Yarmchuk
Curriculum Innovative Specialist for Math and Science
dave.yarmchuk@chavezschools.org

 

5. Hillsborough County, Florida

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 825 grade 5 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 825
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 206

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 7,000 grade 6 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 12; experiment design and mission patches: Kingswood Elementary, Sheehy Elementary, Gibsonton Elementary, McKitrick Elementary, Philip Shore Elementary, Frost Elementary, Fishhawk Creek Elementary, Mango Elementary, Mango Elementary, Morgan Woods Elementary, Reddick Elementary, Kenly Elementary

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
The Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) vision for STEM is to inspire, engage, and prepare our next generations to be the inventors, explorers, and innovators who will lead the nation’s achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. As a result, HCPS is committed to providing high quality, relevant, and embedded STEM learning experiences to all students in all grade levels. Our goal is for all students to fully understand STEM and the importance of it. As the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Curriculum is being integrated within all grade levels, STEM plays a significant role in the success of this change.

HCPS has aligned our curriculum and resources to be in support of this vision. The SSEP will promote our teachers to model how best to incorporate STEM lessons to ensure students are engaged, asking higher-level questions, and design data-based solutions. The STEM classroom is now an example of best practices with a concentration on core ideas. The idea is now to challenge the students to leave their comfort zone and look for answers in places and ways they are not familiar with.

The SSEP is in direct alignment with STEM, CCSS, and HCPS curriculum maps. SSEP immerses students in real scientific and engineering problems, which can be solved by applying content knowledge and the practices of science and engineering. Students will collaborate with several teachers during the project and will be encouraged to ask scientific questions and design experiments to find their answers. They will use the scientific method as a guide for the entirety of the project. The students will collect and evaluate data. The students will then need to effectively communicate their findings to others, just as scientists do in the real world. The teachers will be learning along with the student teams, which will further authenticate the project. This model of instruction is consistent with the goals of STEM education. The project will further educate the teachers in real world instruction and give increased confidence to all those involved. The SSEP project provides a strong framework on which teachers can hone their expertise.

Partner Institutions
Hillsborough County Public Schools

Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union Foundation
NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

SSEP Community Program Co-Directors
Scott Coonfare
5th Grade Teacher, Kingswood Elementary School
scott.coonfare@sdhc.k12.fl.us

Mary Vaughn
Gifted Teacher
mary.vaughn@sdhc.k12.fl.us

 

6. Jefferson County, Kentucky

Noteworthy: this is the second SSEP flight for Jefferson County

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 550 grade 6, 9-12 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 500
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 60

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 550 grade 6, 9-12 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 2; experiment design and mission patches: The Academy @ Shawnee High School, The Academy @ Shawnee Middle School

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
The Jefferson County Public School System (JCPS) is the largest school district in the state and serves over 100,000 students. The Academy @Shawnee, grades 6-12, serves as its Aerospace Magnet. The Academy partners with the Challenger Learning Center-Louisville, who is part of an international not-for-profit organization of over 40 centers designed to provide programming and opportunities for students to immerse themselves in experiences involving space exploration and travel. JCPS’s goal is to use student’s natural curiosity and excitement about space to raise academic rigor.

The Aerospace programs at Academy thread a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) focus throughout the curricula of all grades in order to raise rigor. The Challenger Learning Center strives to become the district’s primary source for aerospace resources and to provide students with a simulated but realistic STEM infused mission to space.

The Student Space Flight Experiment Program (SSEP) provides an opportunity to take STEM out of the classroom and out of simulation and into the real world of space travel. It is a perfect marriage for meeting school and district goals in that it provides the students an opportunity to participate in the conception, design, building and flying of an actual experiment in low earth gravity. SSEP is about allowing our students to truly become scientists, and be a part of a historic mission they will never forget.

SSEP is a natural fit for our school. It allows students to take information gained in a variety of core content courses and apply it to a real world opportunity. This promotes learning that is relevant and interdisciplinary. The competitive nature of the process adds an additional touch of realism not easily duplicated, for in this case, the team with the best experiment will get to see it fly on the ISS. This process has caused the students to be most diligent in their research, preparation, and execution of their proposed experiment.

Partner Institutions
The Academy @Shawnee
Jefferson County Public Schools

Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), SSEP National Partner
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
NASA Kentucky Space Grant and EPSCoR Program

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

SSEP on STS-134, the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour
(see STS-134 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patch)

SSEP Community Program Co-Directors
William Vander Meer
Director, Challenger Learning Center
william.vandermeer@jefferson.kyschools.us

Imogen Herrick
Science Teacher
Imogen.Herrick@jefferson.kyschools.us

 

7. Howard County, Maryland

Noteworthy: this is the second SSEP flight for Howard County

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 550 grade 8 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 550
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 90

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): did not participate in mission patch design competition 

Number of participating schools: 3; experiment design: Burleigh Manor Middle School, Murray Hill Middle School, Lake Elkhorn Middle School

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
The Howard County Public School System vision for STEM is to inspire, engage and prepare our next generations to be the inventors, explorers and innovators who will lead U.S. achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. To this end, the HCPSS is committed to providing high quality, relevant, and embedded STEM learning experiences to all students in all grade levels with the goal of STEM literacy for all. The HCPSS is further committed to providing intensive learning opportunities to students at all grade levels that have a particular interest or talent within STEM. These enhanced opportunities may occur in school or in extended day, week, or year programs.

The SSEP tightly aligns with the emphasis on STEM within the HCPSS. It immerses students in a real scientific and engineering problem that can be solved through the application of content knowledge and the practices of science and engineering. Students will collaborate in STEM teams. They will ask scientific questions and design experiments to find answers. They will collect and evaluate data, and communication will be instrumental to their work just as it is with practicing scientists. Teachers will learn alongside their students, which will further strengthen the environment of authentic learning.

Participation in SSEP is a unique experience for the HCPSS community. Whereas students have engaged for many years in independent research through STEM Fairs and have participated in numerous enrichment activities including mentored internships and other research projects, study in a microgravity environment is unprecedented. This program presents a fresh and cutting edge area of learning for students and the entire HCPSS community.

Authentic research into student-generated scientific questions is the core of the vision for STEM in the Howard County Public School System. Participation among students in SSEP will undoubtedly encourage students to pursue continued STEM study beyond the requisite coursework in high school and prepare them for college and careers of their choosing in the future.

Partner Institutions
Howard County Public School System

Maryland Space Grant Consortium
Noblis
Howard Tech Council
Bright Minds Foundation
ADNET Systems, Inc.
a.i. solutions
Science Systems and Applications, Inc.
ATK
zenyon
HCGI Hartford

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

Mission 3 to ISS
(see Mission 3 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patches)

SSEP Community Program Co-Directors
Mary Weller
Secondary Science Coordinator, Howard County Public School System
Mary_Weller@hcpss.org

Sharon Kramer
BCMS and Technology Education Instructional Facilitator
Sharon_Kramer@hcpss.org

 

8. Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Noteworthy: this is the fifth SSEP flight for Fitchburg

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 1,400 grade 9-12 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 500
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 100

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 3,000 grade K-12 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 5; experiment design and mission patches: Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School; mission patches only: Varnum Brooke Elementary School, Elm Street School, Athol Middle School, RC Mahar School

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
The strategic need for our school community in STEM education is two-fold. First, the short term need is to dramatically increase student interest and preparation for careers in STEM related fields. Our students need to be empowered by asking authentic questions about the world in which they live in order to “train up” and inspire the next generation of scientists. Our students need to be given the opportunity to use their math and science skills to develop and analyze an experiment. They need to be engaged and experience the competition for resources and understand the importance of the communication skills they have been learning to master. These students have an additional educational asset from which to draw in that they have been gaining vocational technical training. This provides a unique launching perspective for the questions and connections they may ask due to their experiences and understanding. They would benefit from the opportunity to integrate all of their academic and vocational education experiences.

The long term strategic needs would be engaging and educating students, families and the public through exhibits and programs, professional development opportunities to assist teachers in STEM education and the integration of science, math within the technical areas. One of our school initiatives, which has been accomplished, was to increase our female enrollment. The second part of that initiative is to encourage and foster nontraditional students to pursue career fields in science, math, engineering and technology.

SSEP has allowed for our students to be actively involved in microgravity research. Our students have been able to go through the experimental design process and compete. They have received valuable feedback on research skills and technical writing. They have been challenged to think critically and develop unique questions that can be addressed under real research constraints. Our students have taken pride in each other’s accomplishments and continue to motivate and encourage one another.

Partner Institutions
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School

Massachusetts Space Grant
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), SSEP National Partner
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
Nypro Foundation
NyproMold
Leominster Credit Union

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

Mission 3 to ISS
(see Mission 3 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patches)

Mission 2 to ISS
(see Mission 2 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patches)

Mission 1 to ISS
(see Mission 1 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patches)

SSEP on STS-135, the final flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis, and of the U.S. Space Shuttle Program
(see STS-135 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patch)

SSEP Community Program Director
Paula DeDiego
Science Instructor
dediego@montytech.net

 

9. North Attleborough, Massachusetts

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 400 grade 6 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 400
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 75

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 2,300 grade 3-8 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 8; experiment design and mission patches: North Attleborough Middle School; mission patches only: North Attleborough High School , Amvet Boulevard School, Allen Avenue School, Joseph W. Martin, Jr. Elementary School, Falls School, Roosevelt Avenue School, Community Elementary School

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
The North Attleborough Public Schools are committed to support the development of strong Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs in our schools. Through the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), in association with the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), we have engaged 400 sixth grade students across three middle school teams in microgravity experiment design and proposal writing. In addition, we held a mission patch design competition that included every 3-5th grade student in our district as well as high school students who assisted in judging the contest. The community has been included as well, through donations for the SSEP project as well as volunteers to assist the students during the research and proposal phase of the program. The town-wide commitment to SSEP bespeaks the district’s desire to increase student interest in STEM majors, to raise the STEM achievement of elementary and middle school students; and to provide students with an exciting opportunity to engage in realistic applications of the Next Generation Science Standards.

During our involvement in SSEP, students have been challenged to ask analytical questions, participate in cooperative problem solving, and take an active role in the learning process. Our sixth grade students have grown in other ways by creating and delivering presentations, writing press releases, and participating in interviews on the local television channel and newspaper to share program updates to the community at large. The elementary student involvement in the SSEP Mission Patch Design Competition has been a source of enthusiastic participation bringing life to science lessons throughout our district. Our community has shown a dedication to support the district’s STEM initiative through donations, publicity, and attendance at SSEP update gatherings. This is clearly the way STEM education should be: exciting, all inclusive, and fully supported by schools and the community!

Partner Institutions
North Attleborough Middle School
North Attleborough Public Schools

American Firearms School, LLC
Chartwell International, Inc.
Checon Corporation
Compu-Call, Inc.
Cryan Landscape Contractors, Inc.
Dyer-Lake Charitable Foundation, Inc.
E.A. Dion, Inc.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute & Stowers Institute for Medical Research
iAutomation
ICG Consultants Corp.
Kid’s Day
Mini-Systems, Inc.
North Attleboro Industrial Park Association
North Attleboro School Committee
North Attleborough Public Schools-RA Smith Educational Fund
Off the Leash Doggie Daycare, Inc.
Rhode Island Hospital, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Center for Stem Cell Biology Research
Robinson Physical Therapy
Sensata Technologies
Shelter Tree
Sidelines Seal Coating & Line Painting Company
Sousa & DeMayo, Inc.
The Artcraft Company
W.R. Sharples Company, Inc.
W.H. Riley & Son

Private donors: Bates Family, Cobbs Family, Copley Family, Dion Family, Dusel Family, Ekk Family, Everton Family, Ferrigno Family, Foster Family, Hanson Family, Hobbs Family, Lagasse Family, LeStage Family, Levesque Family, Menard Family, Moscowitz Family, Moynihan Family, Nerz Family, Oliver Family, Opdycke Family, Perkoski Family, Pirri Family, Poirier Family, Short Family, Sweet Family, Wagner Family, Weiner-Jackson Family, West Family, Yeomans Family, Young Family, Zarrela Family

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

SSEP Community Program Co-Directors
Victoria Ekk
Principal
vekk@naschools.net

Tanya Erban
6th Grade Science Teacher
TErban@naschools.net

Michelle McDermott
6th Grade Science Teacher
MMcDermott@naschools.net

Jennifer Murphy
6th Grade Science Teacher
jmurphy@naschool.net

 

10. Kansas City, Missouri

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 680 grade 5-8 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 680
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 115

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 960 grade 5-8 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 5; experiment design and mission patches: Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology, Academie Lafayette, Della Lamb Elementary Charter School, Hogan Preparatory Academy, St. Peter’s School

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
aSTEAM Village is a community-wide collaborative effort of schools, families and private sector of the urban core of Kansas City, Missouri. The partners of aSTEAM Village share a unified vision of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Education in our urban schools that will inspire and engage our students, families and educators to embrace and own the creative and critical thinking that is required to become inventors and innovators in our society today and more importantly, participants in the 21st Century global economy.

SSEP Mission 5 participation proved to be an essential tool to prepare students for careers in STEAM by allowing our focus to switch from the memorization of facts to a collaborative, project-based, problem-solving model of exploration and inquiry. The SSEP program allowed our students the opportunity to learn to think on their own, set personal goals, find information, think analytically, work in teams, and communicate clearly.

The SSEP experience, and the NCESSE community engagement approach to STEAM education is a remarkable real world fit to our strategic objectives in STEAM education. Our students were provided science immersion in an authentic, multifaceted very real research program, with the students serving as microgravity researchers. The experiment design process provided ownership in learning, and nurtured skills in critical thinking, problem solving, navigation of interdisciplinary content, and teamwork. Communication skills were addressed in the formal proposal writing and review process and art engagement was accomplished through the mission patch design competition.

Finally, SSEP provided an inspirational environment for STEAM education, with our students formally becoming part of America’s Space Program, and it proved that an underserved population of girls and minority engagement in STEAM was possible as five girls from varying ethnic backgrounds were chosen to have their experiment and mission patch selected to fly to the ISS as a part of the SSEP Mission 5 payload. SSEP proved to provide a well-tested programmatic vehicle to put our strategic needs in STEAM education into practice, as well as provide high media visibility for our aSTEAM Village community initiative in Kansas City, Missouri.

Partner Institutions
Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology
aSTEAM Village Alliance
Academie Lafayette
Alta Vista Charter Middle School
Della Lamb Elementary Charter School
Hogan Preparatory Academy Middle School
St Peter’s School

City of Kansas City, Missouri
Distribution by Air
Google fiber
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
KC STEM Alliance
Kiewit Construction
Schweiger Construction

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

SSEP Community Program Director
William Wells
Network Administrator, Robotics & STEM Coordinator
wwells@bbchartertech.org

 

11. Brookhaven, Mississippi

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 287 grade 4-12 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 287
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 60

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 500 grade 1-12 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 1; experiment design and mission patches: Brookhaven Academy

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
Brookhaven Academy (BA) has a vision to prepare the next generation of STEM scientists for their chosen career path. This is being accomplished through “out of the textbook” programs to make students aware of how science really works. The scientific method is taught through “hands on” programs that are available to students. SSEP is one of such programs which encourage students to think like scientists. It is the belief of science educators at BA that teaching textbook theories is very important; however, real scientific learning occurs in the laboratory environment and through experiences like the one provided by the SSEP program.

BA teachers spend time seeking out new ways to teach traditional science. SSEP will incorporate a new way to teach students how to develop a research project as well as a new way to teach about traditional science topics. Force, motion, gravity and mechanics are all traditional textbook terms for which students learn definitions. Students are also accustomed to learning biological processes from a textbook or from a “cookbook” laboratory experiment. Through this program, students will actively participate in experimental design where they will use the terms and definitions learned in various courses in a real world setting.

BA students live in a small Mississippi town. Because of this fact, there are not as many research opportunities available to them or to teachers. SSEP will provide a research opportunity that will literally take one of the student team’s experiments into outer space. This scientific process will be the catalyst that propels many of our students into a new world. It will be the missing link for some that will help them decide to major in and obtain a STEM-related college degree. This program will work to aid BA teachers and students to become stronger in STEM education and the results of that will be immeasurable.

Partner Institutions
Brookhaven Academy

Selby&Richard McRae Foundation
Mississippi Space Grant Consortium

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

SSEP Community Program Co-Directors
Leslie Hood
Secondary Science Teacher
leslie.hood@colin.edu

Dr. Dianne Watson
Secondary Science Teacher
dwatson.ba@gmail.com

 

12. Pennsauken, New Jersey

Noteworthy: this is the third SSEP flight for Pennsauken

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 400 grade 8 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 400
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 80

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 5,500 grade K-12 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 10; experiment design and mission patches: Howard M. Phifer Middle School; mission patches only: Delair Elementary, Carson Elementary, Fine Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Burling Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, Pennsauken Intermediate School, Pennsauken High School

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
Pennsauken Mission: In partnership with parents and community stakeholders, the Pennsauken School District will provide continuous student academic improvement for the pursuit of life-long learning and happiness.

The Pennsauken School district has participated in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program for three missions to support student growth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Through a high level of engagement in rigorous research, discussion and planning, students have become true scientists, immersed in real-world application of content. To follow suit with district STEM initiatives, which have provided opportunities for students to further explore scientific endeavors, Mission 5 has enhanced the 8th grade curriculum.

Through Mission 5, a partnership between the Pennsauken School District and Subaru has grown to support learning experiences for students. The Pennsauken School District expects the effectiveness of STEM integration to be reflected in the development of partnerships with industry and the community as well as student engagement in STEM related experiences. The SSEP Mission 5 has provided students an opportunity to go beyond traditional content exploration to reach a higher level of thought and engagement.

Partner Institutions
Pennsauken Public Schools

Subaru of America, Inc.SSEP National Partner
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)SSEP National Partner
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
Rosenberger-Toth
UTRS

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

Mission 3 to ISS
(see Mission 3 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patches)

Mission 2 to ISS
(see Mission 2 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patches)

SSEP Community Program Co-Directors
Mike Ostroff
Supervisor of Science
mostroff@pennsauken.net

Timothy Gilbride
Science Teacher
tgilbride@pennsauken.net

 

13. New York City, New York – NEST+m

Noteworthy: this is the second SSEP flight for NEST+m

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 1,100 grade 5-12 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 300
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 100

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 560 grade 5-8 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 1; experiment design and mission patches: New Explorations in Science Technology and Math (NEST+m)

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
NEST+m has made a strong commitment to preparing students for the demands of the 21st century. During the 2010-11 academic school year NEST+m participated in Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds Town Hall Debate, in which students debated via live webcast with other students from around the world, on the topic of STEM education. NEST+m has been a proponent of a Physics First program, where students begin studying NYS Regents Physics in 9th grade. More recently we have embedded NYS Regents Physics into our 8th grade curriculum. In 2011 a NEST+m student was a Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology semi-finalist. During the 2012-13 academic year, NEST+m hosted and placed in the first annual All NYC Middle School Science Fair with students placing in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade categories. Our guiding philosophy is to provide students with a rigorous academic program in math and sciences, one that will prepare students to successfully compete in a 21st century globalized society.

NEST+m has a history of partnering with various organizations to develop our STEM curriculum including NYU, St. John’s University, Hunter College, Pace University, Math Counts, and numerous other organizations. SSEP is yet another exciting partnership, this time giving students the opportunity to engage in inquiry-based learning that ultimately takes student work outside of the classroom and into space, aboard the International Space Station. SSEP is designed to get students excited about science through full emersion in the learning process via presentations, group research, community building, and experiment design. The program will also provide students from both the lower, middle, and upper schools an opportunity to work together on experiments and bring students together around a common goal. As students will be competing within the community to design a microgravity experiment that will ultimately be selected to fly in space, an increased level of academic rigor will be added to science courses in both the lower and middle schools. The competition will add a valued dynamic in classrooms that will impact teachers and students alike.

Partner Institutions
New Explorations in Science Technology and Math (NEST+m)
New York City Department of Education

Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), SSEP National Partner
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
New York Space Grant Consortium

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

Mission 3 to ISS
(see Mission 3 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patches)

SSEP Community Program Co-Directors
Brendan Alfieri
Assistant Principal
BAlfier@schools.nyc.gov

Nicholas Patrello
Assistant Principal
npatrello@schools.nyc.gov

 

14. Rockland County, New York

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 2,469 grade 5-12 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 300
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 60

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 1,400 grade K-12 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 5; experiment design and mission patches: Cottage Lane Elementary School, South Orangetown Middle School, Tappan Zee High School; mission patches only: William O. Schaefer Elementary School, Tappan Zee Elementary School

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
The entire South Orangetown community is committed to educating our students for the 21st century. STEM skills have been a focus for our district and are an integral part of the strategic goals for the entire district and for each individual school.

As students create and defend their research proposals for the SSEP, they will be addressing critically important STEM goals to the highest possible standards. There is no greater motivation for a young mind than creating an experiment that will actually fly in space.

In addition, New York State has committed to adopting the new Next Generation Science Standards which re-focus science education on exactly the kind of hands-on creative design process which this program exemplifies. For the first time, engineering goals are included along with the science curriculum. This is a major change and many districts are struggling to find resources and creative ways to integrate these two areas. South Orangetown hopes to lead the way in our local area by participating in this exciting and creative program which will neatly and seamlessly integrate science and engineering in a way that is certain to deeply engage our students.

As we strive to adopt the Next Generation Standards, we must also create new units of study for many of our science courses. For example, one of the new NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas for 5th grade includes the following:

5-PS2-1. Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.

The SSEP addresses this unit of study and would allow us to include it in our 5th grade curriculum a full year before it is scheduled to be implemented formally. This will ease the difficult process of re-writing our science curriculum and would allow staff and students time to explore and new area of study in detail in an exciting and creative context.

Partner Institutions
South Orangetown Central School District

Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), SSEP National Partner
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
KeyBank
Greater Hudson Bank
Greenman – Pedersen, Inc.

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

SSEP Community Program Co-Directors
Dr. Brian Culot
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
bculot@socsd.org

Jacob Tanenbaum
Technology and Science Teacher, Cottage Lane Elementary School
jtanenbaum@socsd.org

 

15. Guilford County, North Carolina

Noteworthy: this is the fourth SSEP flight for Guilford County

Program Scope
Experiment Design Competition: 4,420 grade 5-8 students given opportunity to participate
Expected Minimum Number of Students Fully Engaged in Experiment Design: 300
Expected Minimum Number of Student Team Proposals: 60

SSEP Community-wide Engagement Program (includes mission patch design): 8,627 grade K-8 students given opportunity to participate

Number of participating schools: 20; experiment design and mission patches: Brooks Global Studies, Morehead Elementary, McNair Elementary; experiment design only: Brown Summit Middle, Southern Guilford Middle, Mendenhall Middle, Northwest Middle, Brooks Global, Joyner Elementary; mission patches only: Penn Griffin, Northern High, Northwest High, Alamance Elementary, Colfax Elementary, Parkview Village elementary, Jones Elementary, Erwin Montessori, Jesse Wharton Elementary, Claxton Elementary, Union Hill Elementary

Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Alignment to Local STEM Education Need
Students in Guilford County Schools (GCS) are expected to engage in inquiry-based instruction that facilitates the development of conceptual scientific understanding vital for success in the 21st century. The GCS Strategic Plan 2012 includes goals and strategies for integrating STEM opportunities into the curriculum in grades pre-K-12. It calls for the implementation of inquiry-based science instruction at all grade levels and the integration of technology into the teaching and learning process. The North Carolina Essential Standards, which include science and technology, and the Common Core for Math and English, serves GCS as a new curriculum. It emphasizes rigorous interdisciplinary connections, 21st century skills, communication skills, and real world connections to the community. GCS also received a portion of North Carolina’s federal Race to the Top Funding, and one of the district’s initiatives is to develop more STEM opportunities for students.

SSEP as an authentic science experiment proposal competition will provide a great impetus for getting teachers to move into the new curriculum enthusiastically. Participating in the SSEP stimulates interest and inquiry in STEM-related activities and careers, and addresses all curricular benchmarks in STEM education. The process skills acquired through the connection of science content with authentic experiences in the application of content, support development of reasoning, problem-solving, and technological integration skills necessary for a global society. Students learn about space exploration and achievement, as well as scientific methodology. Collaboration with community businesses, government agencies, colleges and universities is an integral part of SSEP, is a part of the GCS culture, and helps to prepare students for the global marketplace and the jobs of the future.

Partner Institutions
Guilford County Schools

Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), SSEP National Partner
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
North Carolina Space Grant Consortium

SSEP Mission Participation
Mission 5 to ISS

Mission 3 to ISS
(see Mission 3 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patches)

Mission 2 to ISS
(see Mission 2 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patches)

SSEP on STS-134, the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour
(see STS-134 community profile, flight and honorable mention experiments, and flight mission patch)

SSEP Community Program Director
Allison Jones
Student Services Administrator, Guilford County Schools
jonesa4@gcsnc.com

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.