As background, please read about SSEP.
Avicenna Academy is a small, co-educational, private, accredited Islamic school providing services to students, ages 18 months through grade six. We are located in the Northwest corner of Indiana in an area known simply as “the region”. This largely industrial region is considered an extension of the Chicago metropolitan area. We are also located approximately 130 miles from Indianapolis, our state capital.
Due to the collaborative nature of this nationwide STEM initiative, Avicenna Academy has invited all students in the larger faith-based community to participate with us in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). In addition, we are collaborating with Lifelong Learning Cooperative, a home school co-op located in Anderson, Indiana bringing the total number of student participants to 270. Ninety eight students, in fifth through twelfth grades will be participating in the experimental design portion of the competition. All 270 students have been invited to participate by submitting a design for the Mission Patch, whose final design will be selected through a voting process. Fifty six percent of Avicenna Academy’s families have demonstrated a financial need warranting free or reduced tuition. And an estimated 70% of Lifelong Learning Cooperative’s students would qualify for free or reduced lunches in a public school setting. The ethnic makeup of the participating group is: 45% Arab, 24% Caucasian (Non-Hispanic), 23% Asian, 6% Mixed, 1% African/African-American, 1% Hispanic. There will be four science teachers participating in this project, with many parents volunteering time to aid the instructors.
Avicenna Academy’s school community has high scores in both Language Arts and Mathematics, as measured by our state’s standardized assessments, and our current priority is creating and fostering an ongoing love for science in our students by establishing a strong, inquiry-based science program. There is a clear connection between the investigation skills that are fine-tuned through scientific exploration and problem-solving ability. The ability to think critically and solve problems is necessary to be competitive in today and tomorrow’s job market.
SSEP is a wonderful opportunity for the students of Avicenna Academy and Lifelong Learning Cooperative as it will no doubt increase motivation and interest in the sciences through the very nature of the experimental design competition. SSEP also offers us an amazing opportunity to transition from theoretical knowledge, learned in class to practical knowledge and application. The added excitement of one of our experiments being flown on the historic last space shuttle flight will leave a lasting impression on all of the participants. In addition, it offers our students the chance to collaborate with other budding scientists in a different educational atmosphere. The diversity amongst the participants is remarkable and this collaborative effort will, in that way, mirror much of the work being done by scientists around the world today.
You’re invited to visit the following sub-pages of this About page: